Widnes desperate to keep Whitley

Widnes Vikings’ CEO, James Rule, has promised fans that the club will do everything in their power to keep Matt Whitley at the club.

The young forward has been linked with a move away from the Vikings having reportedly turned down a contract extension, although Rule confirmed the club is in discussions with him regarding a new contract.

Whitley, 21, is understood to have plenty of admirers in Super League after he was nominated for the Young Player of the Year award in 2016.

He is under contract until the end of 2018, however Rule is confident that the back-rower will remain at the club beyond his existing deal.

“Matt’s another one of those talented players we want here for the long-term,” Rule said.

“He’s contracted until the end of 2018. We will be speaking to him, we have spoken to him and we’ll do everything in our power to keep him.

“What we try to do is make actions speak louder than words. Matt had made his debut got to his third appearance and we sat down with him and gave him a three-year deal. We know his importance to the club, and within our structure, we’ll do our best to keep everybody. Matt is here for this year and next year as a minimum, and we hope it’s a lot longer than that.”