A massive chunk of marketing money outside of the salary cap will enable West Coast ruckman Nic Naitanui to clinch a new $800,000-a- year deal within the next fortnight.
Teammate Josh Kennedy yesterday claimed Naitanui was worth $1 million a year but the deal is more likely to heavily tap Naitanui's marketing potential.
_The Weekend West _understands the main sticking point in negotiations is contract length. The Eagles would prefer a four-year deal, Naitanui would like five.
The Eagles will use the AFL's Additional Services Agreement allowance under which each club can pay up to $1.2 million a year outside of the cap provided the payments are approved by the league. The allowance was boosted from $800,000 last year and Naitanui's ASA component could be worth more than $300,000 a year.
West Coast chief executive Trevor Nisbett said speculation of a $1 million-a-year contract was wide of the mark and a significant factor in the contract was what he does off the field.
"We are hopeful that we can wind it up within a fortnight," Nisbett said. "We are pretty close. We are very comfortable with where we have got to. He is very happy here so we are pleased with that."
In an interview with Channel Seven yesterday, Naitanui said he was staying.
"Fingers crossed it's done soon," he said.
"I'm staying, I can happily say that, my management group, it's up to them to deal with it and they're still going through it now.
"It's not just a matter of saying yes and putting your name on a piece of paper. If that was the case I would have been done and signed up already because I love the footy club, but they're just going through all the logistics and it's something I can't really control, but hopefully it's done soon."
Kennedy tipped a return to All-Australian form from Naitanui.
"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," he said.
"I'd love him to stay here and I'd take a pay cut for him. If I had a million bucks I'd pay him to get him in my team."