Despite still being contracted to the Cowboys for another three years, the Cowboys are believed to be wearing thin with patience in light of recent incidents.
Whilst the supposed smokescreen has been that of Matt Orford, after he demanded a release from his ESL club Bradford Bulls, it’s no surprise that the Eels have been keeping a close eye on Thurston, as they have done for some time.
Thurston, who has officially been ruled out of the Four Nations with an ankle injury, has had a tough few years in recent times at the Cowboys, and is believed to have fallen out with Cowboys coach Neil Henry.
Thurston, who was also recently charged with being a public nuisance has had those subsequent charges dropped, although the club still plan to conduct a review which could see Thurston lose the captaincy at the club.
It’s no surprise that Thurston appears to be favouring a move back to Sydney, having expressed a desire to do so on several occasions over the last few years.
The Eels are on a mission to secure a top-flight half, and they are one of the NRL’s few clubs with money left in the cap to chase a high-profile player like Thurston.
”I’ve heard the rumours, but as far as we’re concerned Johnathan is contracted to the Cowboys,” Eels chief executive Paul Osborne said.
”We’re concentrating on getting people who are actually available.”
If Thurston was to join the Eels, then the move would be a great way for new Eels coach Stephen Kearney to begin his tenure at the club.
Whilst Thurston would appear to the missing piece to the puzzle that is the Eels, Thurston’s manager Sam Ayoub has strongly denied that his client is going anywhere.
”I’m sure there would be clubs that would be delighted to have him on board, but he’s at the Cowboys and he’s contracted for three years,” Ayoub said. ‘
‘I would doubt [he will join Parramatta] very, very much. Just because someone has had a hiccup along the way doesn’t mean he won’t be there. I think people are reading more into it than they should.”