New Castle Nights confident to sign Uate in big money


Aku Uate
Big pricetag ... Akuila Uate is poised to become the Knights' highest paid player. Source: Grant Trouville / AAP
Newcastle winger Akuila Uate is poised to become the club's highest-paid player with 


Newcastle winger Akuila Uate is poised to become the club's highest-paid player with Knights officials hopeful he will sign a new deal before the NRL season kicks off.



Knights CEO Matt Gidley revealed on Tuesday he has already tabled an offer with Uate's manager Darryl Mather and doesn't believe the negotiation process will be drawn out.
"We made a really competitive offer late last week and Darryl's response was really positive,'' Gidley said. "I don't think we are too far away to be honest.
"We could come in and draw this out forever but I know Darryl pretty well and we agreed not to let it drag on.
"We are both on the same page as far as that goes.'



Gidley would not be drawn on the possibility Uate could potentially become a target for a Japanese rugby club.


"I haven't seen anything along those lines and to be honest, I'm just worried about putting our best offer forward,'' he said. "It's up to them to weigh up whatever other offers they might have on the table. I can't control that.
"We'll talk again this week and see where it's at. We'd love to have it all done before the season starts.''
Uate, who will earn around $320,000 this season, will command more than $400,000 in 2014 and could even be the NRL's first winger to break the $500,000 barrier with his next contract given the increased salary cap.
That sort of remuneration would make him the highest earning player at the Knights, surpassing the likes of Kurt Gidley, Darius Boyd and Kade Snowden.  
Gidley said Uate's worth to the club goes deeper than his match-winning qualities on the field.
"He's an excitement machine who puts bums on seats,'' Gidley said. "He's comfortable here in Newcastle and our offer reflects the way we feel about him. We obviously want him to stay and that's what we are working towards.

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