sport

Salford make shock Tomkins bid

New Salford owner Dr Marwan Koukash has made an audacious bid to sign Wigan and England star Sam Tomkins.

Koukash, the businessman and racehorse owner who saved the Reds from insolvency last month, claims to be prepared to pay a fee for the Warriors' - and Super League's - prize asset.

Hopes of success are probably slim given Wigan's determination to hold on to the 23-year-old full-back.

The current Man of Steel is contracted at the DW Stadium until 2016 and, having been linked with moves to rugby union and Australia's NRL, not even allowed to speak to other clubs until next year.

But the bid is a clear statement of Koukash's ambition to transform the fortunes of the Reds after their recent struggles off the field.

Koukash told the Manchester Evening News: "I have contacted Wigan to tell them I am interested in signing Sam and would be prepared to pay a transfer fee for him.

"That's all I can say at this stage. We'll see what happens."

Since Koukash took over Salford have also been linked with other marquee signings such as Castleford half-back Rangi Chase - the 2011 Man of Steel - and Warrington's veteran prop Adrian Morley.

Salford had been in danger of folding with reported debts of around 600,000 before Kuwaiti-born Koukash came to their aid.

A winter of turmoil left them ill-prepared for the new Super League season but, after three defeats, the Reds came from behind against Hull KR to win their first game, 38-34, at the weekend.