Smith future still unclear
Salford scrum-half Matty Smith has admitted he is still in contractual discussions with a number of prospective clubs; quelling rumours generated largely by his current boss Phil Veivers that he is "dead certain" to join league leaders Wigan in 2013.
The former St Helens half and Widnes and Crusaders loanee joined Salford permanently in 2011, after losing his place in the Saints team to Kyle Eastmond and spending the regular season on loan at the Willows, and has since moulded into a mature all-round scrum-half with Daniel Holdsworth as his number six.
And this growth in personality and ability has not gone unnoticed in England, with Salford offering him not only a juiced-up contract money-wise, but also, as hinted to by Reds assistant Sean Long (Smith's former tutor at Saints), a guarantee of the future captaincy at the club.
Widnes also expressed an interest in the England Knights playmaker and former Blackbrook Royals amateur; looking to link him up with new signing Kevin Brown in midfield in 2013. Veivers claimed they "came in with a massive offer" a week ago.
However, it was perhaps inevitably noted that Smith was holding out for a move to a bigger club to win silverware and press claims for a full-England test cap.
Saints themselves are rumoured to have held talks with Smith over a possible return to the club; where he would (according to personal sources) take up the coveted number seven shirt he chased for five years during his first spell at the club, but never got, with Jonny Lomax moving into the 'number 14 shirt' - that is, the impact hooking role, to take some of the responsibility around the ruck off of vice captain and England number nine James Roby.
However, Wigan became favourites in the chase for the 24-year-old, with Veivers making the very bold claim that he is "dead certain that (the transfer to Wigan) is going to happen". Wigan's pursuit of a new midfield is an obviously necessary one, given that experienced New South Wales and New Zealand representative pairing Brett Finch and Thomas Leuluai are to return to their respective homes after this season. They apparently made their move at around the same time as Saints; indeed Shaun Wane confirmed to the press at the start of the month that they were "speaking to Matty [but] there's been no offer made".
However, despite Veivers bold prediction, Smith himself has come out and told BBC Radio Manchester: "If that's what Phil said it must be true."
"I've yet to sign anywhere. Until I actually do that, with whichever club it's going to be, I can't really say. I'll leave that with the club who I'm going to be at next year, I'll let them do that."
An interesting quote there from Smith, who suggests that the saga is not as straightforward or wrapped up as his Salford boss likes to believe.
Just where will he be in 2013?
Source: BBC Sport
Photo credit: SWpix.com
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