Canberra Raiders star John Bateman has attempted to calm speculation about his future despite news emerging he is free to negotiate with rival clubs. The injured back-rower sent out a statement on Saturday night, saying he hadn't asked for a release from his existing Canberra deal. But he did confirm he was speaking with other teams about his long-term future, saying salary-cap pressure meant he had to assess his options. "Like I said yesterday never once have I asked for a release neither has my management," Bateman via a statement on social media. "Canberra gave me permission to talk to other clubs months ago because they're tight on the [salary] cap next year and have nothing for me from 2022 onwards.