Interest in luring Penrith forward Kurt Capewell to Queensland looks to be growing momentum as North Queensland ramp up their battle with the Broncos to sign the Maroons star.
Capewell has long been in the sights of the two Queensland clubs, with The Daily Telegraph reporting that the Cowboys are considering a three-year deal for the second-rower.
The Panthers remain keen on securing Capewell's services past this season, with a two-year deal in consideration by the ladder-leaders.
However, Penrith are battling a tight budget after the recent re-signings of star trio Isaah Yeo, Jarome Luai and Stephen Crichton this year.
Capewell's manager Clinton Schifcofske told News Corp that the Broncos and Cowboys are well in the race to land the 27-year-old.
“Kurt hasn’t finalised his future yet, the Cowboys and Broncos are still very much in the picture,” Schifcofske said.
“It looked like Kurt was going to stay at the Panthers but Penrith’s position has changed a little bit, so we’ll see where he ends up.
“The Cowboys have tabled an offer and they have been great in discussions. Kurt has been really impressed with Todd Payten and Micheal Luck, they’ve conducted themselves really well so North Queensland are right in the mix."
A one-year extension would place Capewell on the market ahead of the 2023 season, when a second Brisbane side is likely to gain the NRL's 17th license.
With a number of suitors already lining up for the honours of the league's next Queensland side, Capewell, among many others, will be in the sights of the imminent expansion club.
“A second Brisbane team is also an option, but that could be a timing thing for Kurt depending on the length of his next deal," Schifcofske added.
The Broncos stunted their push for the Maroons centre after lowballing an offer earlier this year that was reportedly $80,000 short of Capewell's current price at the mountains.
Brisbane coach Kevin Walters recently identified Capewell and fellow Maroons star Dane Gagai as potential targets for 2022.
The Broncos will have a tussle with the Cowboys to land Capewell however, with the Townsville club also set for a busy transfer season.
The Cowboys have already confirmed the signings of Chad Townsend and Peta Hiku from 2022, while Tom Dearden joined North Queensland via an early release last week.
Capewell will lineup for the Maroons next Wednesday in what will be his second Origin serious for Queensland.