WIGAN WARRIORS star John Bateman is set to leave the club immediately following a ‘significant transfer fee’ for the England international.
Bateman returned to Wigan two years ago on a four-year deal, but will leave for the NRL immediately with a deal struck with the Wests Tigers.
Now the Wigan club has confirmed the deal, saying: “The Club first heard murmurings that John Bateman wanted to leave in July. After speaking to John, his agent and the Club in question, we made it clear that we wanted John to remain at Wigan and the matter was closed.
“During the World Cup campaign, John let the Club know of his desire to go back to the NRL. He asked to get the World Cup out of the way first, and then pick up discussions. With our desire to help England to do well in the tournament, we agreed to wait. After the tournament, John went on holiday and expressed his uncertainty regarding his future and requested time again to sort out in his own mind what he wanted to do.
“On Wednesday 14th of December, John informed us of his decision that he wants to try the NRL one more time. It has been somewhat of a frustrating period but the Club now accepts that it is in everyone’s best interests that John is allowed a transfer from Wigan. On Friday 23rd December, the paperwork was completed.
“In situations like this, there are obvious consequences. The uncertainty surrounding John’s future means that we have had to delay the squad numbers. The squad numbers have now been signed off and will be communicated between Christmas and New Year.
“As always in these situations, we have acted with the best interests of the Club at heart and we will continue to act in that manner. The Club received a significant transfer fee for John. We thank John for his service over his two stints and we wish him well.