Sheffield Steeldogs boss Andre Payette believes neighbouring Steelers had been in contact with Jeff Legue a month before they eventually signed him.
Legue stunned the EPL side by quitting to join the Elite side last week.
Payette wishes him well, saying: “Jeff has been a professional for us, all of the guys on the team loved him.
“It was great to play with Jeff, he brings a lot of qualities to the Steelers and he is going to be a massive addition to them and a big loss for us. I think they have been talking to him for about a month now and he said no initially but he still feels he has something to do and wants to win a trophy with the Steelers and he has got a good chance this year. I don’t have any bad feelings for him, we have a policy with the Steeldogs right from the top we will never hold a player back and that goes for him as well.
“I think he is going to do great with the Steelers and the door is always open to us whenever he is done, but from our organisation we wish him all the best.”
Dogs had two wins last weekend, they beat Peterborough 5-3 and Blackburn 7-1.
*Steelers say they did not go looking to recruit Legue weeks ago - he merely kept in touch, informally, with former team-mates at the Arena.