"The only hold-up is in negotiations between Bedford and News Limited," Maranta said. "Martin is on a Super League contract and cannot play for anyone without their agreement."
That clause in the Super League contracts that several dozen top players have signed - a clause revealed in this newspaper last year - could also have a say in the future of Iestyn Harris.
The Warrington and Wales stand-off has been transfer-listed at pounds 1.35m and his coach, John Dorahy, says that there have been approaches from rugby union clubs undeterred by that massive asking price.
But even if Warrington got the fee they want, Harris - who describes the price as "nonsense" - would not be allowed to leave without News Limited's permission.
The only way in which it is possible to imagine that permission being granted is for an Offiah-style share arrangement involving a Welsh rugby union club and the new South Wales Super League side.
St Helens expect Scott Gibbs to play his last match for them at Castleford on Friday, despite his having been transferred back to Swansea for pounds 200,000 yesterday. Saints could be in greater than ever need of his services, as Paul Newlove and Alan Hunte are both doubtful with injuries picked up in London at the weekend.
They already fear that they could be without their Great Britain forward, Chris Joynt, for the rest of the season with an ankle ligament injury.Reuse content