Hat-trick hero Alex Johnston’s startling admission over Rabbitohs contract saga

South Sydney’s star winger Alex Johnston has admitted he is unlikely to stay at the Rabbitohs, beyond his current deal, which expires at the end of 2020.

The former Kangaroos winger starred with three tries and nearly 300 metres in the Rabbitohs 32-24 win over the Dragons in Indigenous Round, but made a startling admission after the game.

“I’m a local junior and I’ve always maintained that I always wanted to stay at Souths,” Johnston said on Channel 9 when asked about his contract situation.

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“But at the moment it’s not looking likely.

“I think there’s a lot of salary cap issue there.

“Hopefully tonight I put my best foot forward and some clubs get some offers through.”

The fact the 25-year-old, who has now scored 93 tries in just 134 games for the club he won a premiership with in his first season in 2014 is consigned to leaving is a shock for South Sydney fans.

However while Wayne Bennett admitted the club and player were keen to make a deal, he said salary cap pressures were a reality for every club.

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“That’s a work in progress regarding his contract,” Bennett said.

“I don’t think any of us want him to leave the club, but like everybody in the game we’ve got a salary cap and we’ve got to fit everybody in.”

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Blues coach Brad Fittler echoed Phil Gould’s sentiments by suggesting that Johnston could be in search of money that didn’t match his position.

Johnston sees himself as a fullback, but while Latrell Mitchell is at the club he is unlikely to get many games in the No.1 jersey at the Rabbitohs.

“I’m sure they don’t want him to leave and he doesn’t want to leave,” Fittler said.

Alex Johnston and Latrell Mitchell both want to play fullback.Source:Getty Images

“Gus explained it earlier around salary caps and asking for certain amounts of money and maybe not that type of money for that type of position. That’s sort of the trend.

“People talk about fullback money. Josh Dugan when he was leaving St George, the discussion was about the position and how much money comes with a certain position, and that’s why everyone wants to be a fullback now, because apparently they get better money.”

The Bulldogs were reportedly interested in Johnston last season, but have since signed Canberra winger Nick Cotric to a three-year-deal although they could offer Johnston the chance to play in his preferred fullback position.

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Originally published asHat-trick hero Johnston’s startling admission over Rabbitohs contract saga

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