«I’d like to stay at Parra. This is my fourth year now, I feel like it’s home out there with the fans and the team we’ve got.
«But at the moment I just have to play footy. I didn’t have the best year last year. I’ve told my manager [Sam Ayoub] I don’t want to talk about it until it gets serious.
«I’ve been with him 10 years and I have massive trust in him. I have to get off to a good start.»
It’s understood the Eels offered Gutherson a two-year deal, but it was well below his market value.
Pressed on Arthur’s future having an impact on his own decision to stay put, Gutherson told the Herald: «I have to start year off well, and if we do it will be good for him.»
Gutherson still resides on the northern beaches, but when asked about a return to the Sea Eagles, quipped: «They let me go in the first place.»
Of all the players off-contract out west at the end of the season, Gutherson would be the first player the blue-and-gold army would love to see re-signed. His tears in the dressing sheds after some tough losses last season reflected his passion for the club and the game.
The 24-year-old looks set to lead the Eels again and said he would relish the top job.
«I’m not sure what Brad and the staff want to do, but if I am captain I will take it with both hands,» he said, as he attended the Fox League launch at the SCG.
«I have to keep learning, I’m still young, I didn’t expect to get the captaincy at such a young age, but I’ve learned so much from it and it’s made me better as a person.»
Most expect the Eels to finish closer to the bottom of the ladder again – they are $4.50 second favourites for another wooden spoon – but Gutherson said the pain from last year had driven the players over the summer.
The pursuit of Luke looks set to ramp up after hooker Kaysa Pritchard was granted leave to deal with »some residual impact from an injury».
Gutherson said the perky No.9 addressed the group a couple of weeks ago and had the full backing from his teammates.
While Luke’s management are yet to see any contracts, the New Zealand hooker remains open to the idea of a move back to Sydney on a longer-term deal.
Christian covers rugby league for The Sydney Morning Herald.