Nic Nat the $4m man
Nic Nat the $4m man

West Coast ruckman Nic Naitanui will pocket around $800,000 a season over five years in a new deal that should be finalised with the club next week.

Re-signing Naitanui was a priority for the Eagles and there was speculation the marketing tool would get close to $1 million a year.

The contract extension comes at a time when there is considerable debate about his form. Former Essendon player Scott Lucas was vocal in his criticism of Naitanui's recent efforts.

Naitanui, who had a recovery-interrupted pre-season, has struggled to exert his influence on matches.

But West Coast are still confident in the 24-year-old's talents and the new deal will almost ensure Naitanui remains a one-club player.

Naitanui's agent Paul Connor has confirmed negotiations with the Eagles are in their final stages and an announcement would be made soon.

Naitanui’s teammate Josh Kennedy said there have been many arguments about the ruckman’s worth, but he believed the price tag was justified.

“If I had a million bucks I'd pay him to get him in my team,” he said.

“He's a superstar. His form might not be showing that at the moment, but the way he can turn the game on and light it up is better than anyone.

“For Nic to stay at West Coast - I'd love him to stay here and I'd take a pay cut for him.

“Hopefully he does sign that bit of paper and we lock him in for the next five years.”

Meanwhile, the Eagles confirmed Mark LeCras, Sharrod Wellingham and Xavier Ellis would return to the team for Sunday's clash with GWS at Patersons Stadium.

Will Schofield, Scott Lycett and Simon Tunbridge were cut from the 25-man squad this afternoon.

The West Australian

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