LEE Mossop is eyeing a return to Super League action this weekend – as speculation over his future intensifies.
The Cumbrian prop is wanted by Parramatta Eels for next season.
And they are thought to be preparing an offer to lure Mossop – and Wigan’s Gareth Hock, who is on loan at Widnes – to the NRL.
Mossop is under contract until the end of 2014.
And while the Warriors could resist any offers for him, they may be willing to release him for a fee – rather than lose him for nothing 12 months later. It’s thought the 24-year-old is keen to test himself Down Under, after seeing how much success Gareth Ellis, James Graham and Sam Burgess have enjoyed.
Parramatta, rebuilding under Ricky Stuart, also want Hock.
And with the second-rower’s relationship with Wigan untenable, it would make sense to cash in when his season-long loan at Widnes comes to an end later this season. The deal for Mossop, though, has not been completed.
And the fact discussions are still taking place may explain why Wigan have yet to announce the capture of his long-term replacement – Wales rugby union star Andy Powell.
His club Sale Sharks yesterday confirmed he was heading to the DW Stadium at the end of their season in three weeks.
“Andy won’t be with us next year,” said chief executive Steve Diamond.
“He’s signed for Wigan for three years, although I don’t know the in-depth details of the contract.” The No.8 is seen as a prop by coach Shaun Wane, and his signing will fit in with Wigan’s link-up with Wales rugby league.
Meanwhile, Mossop could make his return from a six-week lay-off in Sunday’s match at Bradford.
Mossop said: “I’m over with watching now. If I had been unlucky and had to be out another eight weeks I don’t think I’d have lasted.
“I’d have been right for the Wakefield game (last Sunday) but I got a bit of flu last week and it’s put me back a bit. It was nothing to do with my shoulder why I was out on Sunday.”
Mossop was sidelined by a dislocated shoulder, but confirmed it was the different one which caused him problems in the past.
“It was the good one this time,” Mossop smiled.
“But hopefully it will still be good, when I had the scan the specialist couldn’t believe there was no damage to the joint whatsoever.”
Wane is also hoping to welcome back Harrison Hansen (wrist) and Sean O’Loughlin (ribs) from injury. Josh Charnley (ankle) has a chance of playing and Pat Richards is available again, but Chris Tuson (hamstring) is set to miss out