Storm closes ranks on Gympie powerhouse as rivals circle
Melbourne is moving fast to lock down the Gympie 197-centimetre teen behemoth Tino Fa'asuamaleaui before rival clubs can pounce.
The 19-year-old wrecking ball forward has only played two NRL games, but is already attracting offers worth up to $1.5 million.
He's currently contracted to the Storm until the end of the 2020 season, but other clubs are free to table offers from November 1 this year.
Foxsports.com.au can reveal Melbourne has made Tino Fa'asuamaleaui a retention priority and is trying to secure the young star on a longer-term deal before November 1 arrives.
They've been negotiating with his Queensland-based manager Simon Mammino in an effort to strike a deal and stave off those rival offers.
The Storm view him as a future leader of their forward pack once the likes of Jesse Bromwich hang up the boots.
According to the club's website Fa'asuamaleaui stands at 197 centimetres tall and tips the scales at 107 kilograms.
They have already lost Joe Stimson to Canterbury at season's end, and likely Christian Welch won't be playing for the club beyond 2019 either.
Fa'asuamaleaui will be eyeing a spot in the starting side in 2020 and his value could even increase.
He's believed to be earning just $110,000 this season but that salary increases to $250,000 next year.