Brisbane is set to suffer an embarrassing rejection, with Xavier Coates signing elsewhere for less money.
News Corp reports Coates will sign a two-year deal with the reigning premiers.
Embarrassingly for Brisbane, the deal will see the 20-year-old earn less than he would have had he remained at the Broncos.
It’s the latest in a long list of retention disasters for Brisbane, who have seen a host of home-grown talents sign for other NRL clubs in recent years.
Amongst the names that came through the Broncos nursery, only to go elsewhere, are Harry Grant, Sam Walker and Cameron Munster.
Melbourne appears to have beaten off interest from both the Cowboys and the Titans to secure the signature of Coates, in what is seen as a sign that Craig Bellamy will remain with the Storm beyond this year.
Bellamy has been at the helm of the club since replacing Mark Murray in 2003, and is yet to confirm his plans for 2022.
He could remain as Melbourne coach for another season, or take up a role as coaching director at either the Storm, Broncos or Sharks.
Earlier this week Brisbane boss Dave Donaghy hit out at the “vultures” poaching the club’s rising stars.
“There’s no reward for development,” he said.
“There’s the ability for vultures to swoop in and throw ridiculous amounts of money and steal your best talent.”
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