St George Illawarra launch $6 million bid to poach Melbourne Storm coach Craig Bellamy Read more: http://www.foxsports.com.au/league/nrl-premiership/

The premier coach took a break from his Gold Coast holiday to reveal it was "50-50" chance he would quit Melbourne.

While he wouldn't name the Dragons, Bellamy said: "It is either Storm or one other club and I want to make the decision in January."

Sources have revealed Dragons boss Peter Doust has offered Bellamy even more than seven-time premiership coach Wayne Bennett earned in his three years at the club.

They have been in negotiations since mid-November with his agent John Fordham.

Bellamy has already knocked back an approach from the Warriors but is taking the Saints offer far more seriously.

 

With incentives and finals bonuses, the contract could be worth as much as $1.2 million a season.

 

Bellamy revealed the contract will almost certainly be the last of his career.

 

"It might be three years or it might be five years," he said, "It will see me out. I'm 54 now and that's probably long enough for my liking.

"I probably shouldn't say that but it's how I feel.

"The important thing is, I don't want this dragging on and on.

"The decision needs to be made in January or certainly before we go to England for the World club challenge."

Bellamy would not publicly confirm the Dragons, insisting that it "wouldn't be fair to the club or the coach".

But there now appears to be a realistic chance he will leave the Storm, the club at where he launched his coaching career a decade ago in 2003.

Given his standing in the game and the fact he rebuilt Storm after the salary cap scandal, his loss would be a massive blow to the club's future in the NRL. He does admit it would be difficult to leave the likes of superstars Cameron Smith, Billy Slater and Cooper Cronk.

"Of course it would be hard to leave them," Bellamy said.

"That's part of the decision I have to make. We're all very close."

No doubt the big three will be trying their hardest to convince Bellamy to stay at the Storm when they return from a 10-day Christmas-New Year break.

So too will the club's owners News Limited, who understand that the possible future sale of the club will be seriously affected if Bellamy walks.

The Dragons remain quietly confident. With a lower profile coach, Steve Price, the club has struggled to recruit class players.

They failed to make the finals last season and will again struggle to make the top eight in 2013.

The big question is who would replace Bellamy at the Storm if he chose to join the Dragons.

Cameron Smith's name has already been mentioned as a possible captain-coach but it is highly unlikely he could take on such an important role combined with his Origin and World Cup commitments in 2013.

 




Comments

Comment Guidelines: The SportingPulse Network is made up of players, families and passionate sports followers like you who have a strong opinion about sport. That's great - we want you to have your say and share your thoughts with the world. However, we have a few rules that you must follow to keep it fun for all. Please don't be rude, abusive, swear or vilify others. Apart from some pretty serious sport sanctions, we also can ban you and report you if things get out of hand. So play fair and have fun, and thanks for your contribution.