DRAGONS recruitment chief Ian Millward insists Matt Dufty isn’t going anywhere, refuting suggestions the club is looking to off-load their livewire No. 1.
Dufty remains contracted for the 2019 season but his immediate future has been clouded by the club’s reported efforts to recruit Jarryd Hayne.
The Eels have been scrambling to offload players to make room for Hayne in their salary cap, but are yet to do so, leaving him without a club for next season.
The Dragons have been on the hunt for a marquee back following the departure of Nene Macdonald (North Queensland) and the retirement of veteran winger Jason Nightingale.
That search continues but Millward said it wouldn’t come at the expense of Dufty.
"The speculation and misinformation surrounding Matt's future has been disappointing," Millward said.
"Matt is contracted for 2019 and will definitely be a part of our squad next year. There has never been any internal discussion that suggested otherwise."
The comments come a day after media reports revealed that Hayne is the subject of a police investigation into an alleged sexual assault in September.
It’s the the second such allegation to be leveled at the two-time Dally M Medalist, who remains locked in a legal battle in the US with a woman who claims he sexually assaulted her in December 2015 during his time with the San Francisco 49ers.
Breaking his silence on the issue on Friday, Dufty said the club has assured him there are no plans to move him on before next season.
“I’ve had a chat to the senior staff at the club and they’ve assured me of my spot in 2019,” Dufty said.
“The club re-assured me that if anything like that was going to happen they’d let me know before it came out in the papers which is good to hear.
“I’ve got a good relationship with the people at the club and I’m just looking forward to ripping in for the staff and for the boys.”
"Matt will definitely be a part of our squad next year. There has never been any internal discussion that suggested otherwise."Ian Millward