SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 14: Jeremy Marshall-King of the Bulldogs celebrates with his team mates after scoring a try during the round 14 NRL match between the Canterbury Bulldogs and the St George Illawarra Dragons at Stadium Australia, on June 14, 2021, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Off-contract Canterbury hooker Jeremy Marshall-King has conceded that he is playing for his future in 2021.

Marshall-King returned for the Bulldogs on Monday in what was their second win of the season and their rake's third game this year due to injuries.

Speaking with NRL.com this week, the 25-year-old said that the back-end of the season shapes a vital period for himself and the club.

"I've got a contract to play for so it's a good start to get back on the field," Marshall-King said..

"It's a great club and Baz (Trent Barrett) is building with new players so I want to be here and be part of a club that's on the up in the next few years.

"I've got to keep improving and see what happens. It's definitely on my mind, I've just got to try and play my best footy."

Marshall-King is one of 16 players who are off-contract at Belmore, and it has been no secret that the club is seeking to recruit new personnel.

Brent Naden, Matt Burton and Josh Addo-Carr have all signed with the Bulldogs to join from next season and Trent Barrett is sure to add to his impressive recruitment drive.

Penrith hooker Mitch Kenny is reportedly on the Bulldogs' radar and would be sure to contend for starting dummy-half roles should he and Marshall-King both reside with the Bulldogs in 2022.

PENRITH, AUSTRALIA - JULY 19: Nathan Cleary of the Panthers (R) celebrates with Mitchell Kenny (L) after scoring a try during the round 18 NRL match between the Penrith Panthers and the St George Illawarra Dragons at Panthers Stadium on July 19, 2019 in Penrith, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

Canterbury have been closely linked with departing Sharks halfback Shaun Johnson, who has been told his services won't be required at the club from next year.

Winger Dallin Watene-Zelezniak is set to join the Warriors on an immediate deal, while promising utility Nick Meaney is understood to be in the sights of the Storm.