Cleary re-signs with Panthers until 2024
Nathan Cleary recommitted to the Penrith Panthers as the playmaker's five-year contract extension was confirmed on Monday.
The New South Wales representative, 20, re-signed with the Panthers until at least the end of the 2024 season.
Cleary, who made his NRL debut in 2016, was linked with moves to several clubs, but opted to remain in Penrith.
"I'm excited to re-sign with the Panthers and commit the next six years of my career to the club," he said.
"There was always going to be speculation but in the end it was an easy decision for me to make.
"This club and this community mean a lot to me. Panthers gave me the opportunity to debut as an 18-year-old and I will always hold that close to my heart.
"I've grown up with this team and I couldn't ask for a better group of players and coaches to work with moving forward.
"I want to become a leader here at the Panthers and I'm determined to help deliver a premiership to Penrith."
Cleary has played 58 games for the Panthers since making his debut, and he helped Penrith reach the Semi-Finals this season.
Panthers executive general manager Phil Gould talked up the significance of the deal for the club.
"Today is a very special day in our club's history. Everyone at Panthers is delighted to know Nathan Cleary has committed to this club until at least the end of the 2024 season," he said.
"This is a significant contract for Nathan but it's also a major investment by Panthers in its own future as an NRL club, and it's an important signing for the future of rugby league in western Sydney.
"Nathan is an outstanding young man and I have no doubt he will be a future captain of this club.
"His best football is still well in front of him and we believe he will be the face of rugby league in this region for many years to come.
"To sign a deal of this significance with a player we have seen develop through our own pathways system, from a young age, is a special moment indeed."