A frustrated Dane Gagai has cleared the air with NRL teammates at South Sydney, insisting he is heading nowhere.
Earlier this week, it was reported Gagai wanted to leave the Rabbitohs because of his desire to play centre rather than wing, a wish seemingly scuppered by James Roberts' mid-season arrival.
On Wednesday, Souths coach Wayne Bennett publicly shot down the notion that Gagai wanted out.
Bennett asked Gagai to address teammates at Redfern on Friday morning, when the Queensland star made his intentions clear.
"He just told them his position. He didn't want to leave the club, had no intention (to), couldn't understand where the story came from and had not been talking to any other clubs - that type of stuff," Bennett told reporters.
"I think he's frustrated about it.
"I don't think he enjoyed seeing himself in a headline earlier in the week, (being) centre of attention over something he had no control over.
"Dane's fine ... he's all good."
A fired-up Bennett argued rampant speculation about Gagai reflected the current era of players regularly moving between clubs, often mid-contract.
"It's out of hand. It can be addressed, should be addressed, and it's not," Bennett said.
"Why we allow it to happen without respecting the game enough to say 'hang on, you made a bad decision (as a club) ... you made the wrong decision as a player. That's life - you have to live with it sometimes'.
"I just feel if I was a fan, it'd be disheartening. You wake up one morning and find one of your players is supposed to be going somewhere.
"I just can't get my head around it ... it doesn't wash with me."
Souths proved earlier this year, when they signed Roberts after publicly denying any interest in the Brisbane centre, that things could change quickly.
Bennett reiterated he wouldn't stand in the way of Gagai, if the 28-year-old decided to leave the Rabbitohs at the end of 2019, but nothing suggested that was on the cards.
"He's intimated that's not what he wants. That's not his desired position," Bennett said.
"We don't want to lose Dane. I've stated that to him - he knows that.
"I wanted him to tell the players what was really going on then we can all move on ... he's told them he's staying and getting on with life.
"He's committed to us and we're committed to him. We'll get through the season and see where it goes after that; that's the way it should be."