The Wests Tigers' search for a premier halfback will continue after the Warrington Wolves shut the door on any chance of an early release for George Williams.
The English half, who represented his country on home soil at the Rugby League World Cup last year, has been with the Warrington Wolves since 2021 after an ill-fated trip to Australia.
He played 32 games for the Canberra Raiders in 2020 and 2021 before leaving the green machine under somewhat messy circumstances.
Williams has since been a mainstay of the Wolves' side in the Super League, and is on contract with the club until at least the end of the 2024 campaign.
The 28-year-old would have realistically been an unlikely target to return to the NRL given how his last stint in Australia concluded, but that didn't stop rumours from commencing in recent days that he could be bound for the Wests Tigers.
It comes as the Tigers continue to weigh up Luke Brooks' future on the back of missing the signature of Mitchell Moses, who it's reported has agreed to an extension with the blue and gold that will keep him at the club until at least the end of 2028 - potentially the rest of his career.
However, speaking to Wide World of Sports, Warrington boss Karl Fitzpatrick said Williams is not up for a release at any price, and that the club are in discussions over a contract extension.
"He is signed with us until the end of 2024 and we are actually in discussions about an extension," Fitzpatrick said.
"We rate George very highly and no way will he be leaving us any time soon."
Brooks, who is off-contract at the end of the year, will run out in the number seven jumper this week in the second instalment of a new halves combination alongside Brandon Wakeham after Adam Doueihi was shuffled to fullback to play the Melbourne Storm last week.
Tim Sheens commented this week that the new combination will need 'time' to work, although that flies in the fact somewhat of the fact Brooks has played more games than any other Tigers' half over the span of his career.
Brooks is the most-capped player in the NRL without a finals appearance.
The Tigers take on the Brisbane Broncos this weekend, followed by the Parramatta Eels, with the club a very real chance of heading into their bye with six straight losses to start the season.