Best has been continually linked to the Wests Tigers with the rumours emerging that Benji Marshall was willing to make him one of the highest-paid centres in the competition on a contract worth approximately $800,000 a season.
However, News Corp has reported that Best is poised to remain in Newcastle, inking a $2 million-plus contract extension amidst the poaching bid from the Wests Tigers.
It is understood that the Knights have discussed a three-year upgrade that will keep him there until the end of 2026 worth an estimated $700,000 a season. This means he will be earning less per season than the Tigers have offered him.
The 22-year-old, who had his best season to date in 2023, is hoping to finalise a new contract ahead of the upcoming 2024 NRL season.
“I want to stay here,” Best said as the Knights ramp up their pre-season via News Corp.
“The Tigers have shown some interest, they are keen, but I have to weigh everything up.
“If it all works out as we plan, I'll be staying at the Knights. We'll see what happens but I'm really settled here.
“I love the club and I love the culture we have built. The boys here are all so connected and we are a close bunch, so to walk away from that would be really hard.
“The lifestyle here (in Newcastle) is second-to-none. We're in talks now and my manager is sorting things out.”
Having made his NSW Blues debut last season and scoring 13 tries from 25 games for the Knights, he has become one of the hottest properties on the market and could easily maximise his value.
In his State of Origin debut, Best scored a double as NSW defeated Queensland in the Game Three dead rubber match.
The Newcastle Knights had a terrific end to the season in 2023 and will be looking to continue their good form as they aim to win the Grand Final for the first time since 2001.
“I want to sort this contract stuff out, I don't want it hanging around too long,” he added.
“I'm not in too much of a rush, but I also don't want it drag on all season. It (a Knights deal) shouldn't be too much of a problem.
“I want to play good consistent footy for the club and hopefully win a comp for the Knights, that would be pretty special.
“What we did last year was unreal. We started the year badly and we knew that, but we knew we had a special side and with how close we are, we realised how good we could be.
“To win 10 games in a row and get a home semi-final, this community was pumping and it was just an unreal buzz.
“I'm fortunate enough to have clubs who want me. There are some guys where no club wants them and they have to get back to the real world or look to Super League or give the game away."