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Schuster officially cut free from Manly

Scott Bailey -

Josh Schuster's time at Manly is officially up, after the second-rower agreed to a release from his lucrative NRL deal without a new home locked in for 2025.

Signed to a three-year extension last June worth close to $2.4 million, Schuster is now officially a free agent after being cut loose.

Such is the 22-year-old's rapid exit from Manly, he will be out the door before the new contract was due to commence on November 1 this year.

Told by Manly officials a fortnight ago he was free to look elsewhere, the five-eighth-turned-second-rower was granted personal leave almost immediately afterwards.

It's believed the Sea Eagles will pay out part of Schuster's remaining contract for this season as part of the exit, as well as around $200,000 for each of the next three years.

"Unfortunately, things haven't worked out for both parties in the end,'' said Manly CEO Tony Mestrov.

"Josh now needs time to focus on himself and what is best for him moving forward.

"We all know Josh is a very talented player and we hope that he can find a new club soon. We wish him well."

Schuster's exit comes as something of a victory for both parties, given the situation as recently as last month.

An enigmatic talent spotted by Bob Fulton, Schuster had long been viewed as a future star of the Sea Eagles.

But his $800,000 deal was burning a hole in the club's salary cap, particularly given he had spent this year languishing in reserve grade.

While the Sea Eagles will still carry some of that in their cap going forward, they now have up to $600,000 in free cap space to work with in improving their middles and outside backs.

Schuster will almost certainly take a hit in his next contract, but he now has a payout as he seeks a new footballing home.

No club has publicly voiced interest in the 50-game NRL player, but it is widely believed he could be a good option at the right price.

Scott Bailey - AAP

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