Sunday Telegraph (Aus)
MELBOURNE Storm centre Matt King has signed a deal with English Super League club Warrington that will make him the highest-paid centre in the world.
The Sunday Telegraph has learned King will head to Britain on a four-year deal worth about $2.8million -- or $700,000 a season.
It is anticipated that the Kangaroos centre will announce his decision on Tuesday or Wednesday, after informing team-mates and Storm officials of the deal.
It is believed King signed off on the biggest contract of his career on Friday night -- just 48 hours after scoring a try in the Blues' win over Queensland in Brisbane. That match is now certain to be his last in the Blues' jersey.
Warrington's bid to secure King ends more than six months of negotiation and bidding wars between a host of clubs both from the NRL and Super League.
Most believed King would sign either with Super League giants Wigan or Bradford.
But it is understood the Wolves, bankrolled by British rock promoter Simon Moran, offered King an offer he couldn't refuse.
Moran swayed King to join the emerging Warrington after several phone conversations and a deal that will rank him in the top five money earners in the game.
King, 26, will also link with internationals Adrian Morley, Richie Barnett, Martin Gleeson and Paul Rauhihi at Warrington.
Manly's Michael Monaghan and Chris Hicks have also signed on with the club.
King's decision to relocate to Britain continues the worrying exodus of NRL stars.
Test coach Ricky Stuart last week told The Sunday Telegraph King should be stood down from Origin III in an attempt to ease the player drain. Instead, King said he would use the Origin week to make a decision about his future.
And the Sunday Mail (Aus)
WARRINGTON, the former Super League club of Allan Langer and Andrew Johns, has swooped with a last-minute bid for New South Wales State of Origin centre Matt King, and within the next few days will announce the Test star has signed a four-year deal.
King has been widely tipped to leave the Melbourne Storm at the end of the season for a stint in England, but most speculation centred on the 26-year-old joining traditional powerhouses Wigan or Bradford.
But both clubs are facing penalties for salary cap infringements that would affect their leverage in making a deal for King.
The Rugby Football League may elect to hit both clubs with heavy fines, or alternatively deduct competition points.
The latter would be the more serious sanction for Wigan, because the Warriors would then fall into the relegation zone.
Last week, Hull KR also entered the race for King, but it is understood the club's battle to avoid relegation from the top-flight competition counted against it.
While the deal has not been formally announced by the Wolves or King's manager George Mimis, The Sunday Mail understands that the Storm centre has agreed to terms on a four-year deal in which he will earn around $450,000 a season.
King has a year to run on his contract with Melbourne, but he has a clause in his deal allowing him to leave early if he finds an acceptable deal in Britain.
King will be the last import signing for the Wolves, who have already snapped up Manly pair Michael Monaghan and Chris Hicks, as well as talented New Zealand utility Louis Anderson.