You would not believe it to be the case, but it is exactly what is set to happen – with Panthers stalwart Luke Lewis expected to announce that he wants a release from his Penrith contract, later today.
With two years remaining on his current deal, it is believed that the club want to move Lewis on, who has come to accept that his future in the NRL belongs at a rival club.
Although some factions within the club want the release to happen immediately, many are of the belief that he should be able to see out the season, at the club that started his career.
With the Parramatta Eels, Canterbury Bulldogs and Wests Tigers all potential suitors, reports suggest that Lewis has no intentions of playing for a club where he feels unwanted.
It is expected that Greg Willett, Lewis’s manager, will start talking with rival clubs this week, to see what clubs are interested in the representative utility.
One source close to Lewis said: “He wants to leave on good terms. He has a lot of mates at Penrith and has given his all for the club.
“Luke loves the Panthers. The club gave him the opportunity to play NRL and he will never forget that.
“The Panthers want to go in another direction and Luke accepts that. I think they want to take on a youth policy.
“A new start will reinvigorate Luke. He feels he needs to leave. He is little confused as to why the club doesn’t want him.”
At one stage, Lewis was a man who wanted to spend his entire career at the Panthers, given he was also a local junior there.
Since the decision was made to strip him of the captaincy, things have been brewing under the surface, and they appear to have now come to loggerheads – though the move would give Penrith some space in their already tight salary cap.