during the round 20 NRL match between the Manly Sea Eagles and the Penrith Panthers at Lottoland on July 28, 2018 in Sydney, Australia.

Panthers young gun Nathan Cleary is set to make the biggest decision of his life to date, regarding where he will be playing in 2020.

And it will affect more people than he may realise.

He will sit down with his parents at the end of the season to help him make a call on his playing future, with his current deal expiring at the end of the 2019 season.

And despite the fact that father Ivan is coach of the Wests Tigers, his family will help him make the right choice by their son. Nathan and Ivan had not yet had a serious discussion about Nathan's plans.

The Panthers have told Cleary that they will begin discussions on a potential contact extension at the end of the season, in a bid to take pressure off the situation.

Penrith will need approximately $1 million in their 2020 salary cap to retain Cleary, where it is already tight. And it means the club would need to look at moving on some of their better talents, like a Trent Merrin, to help ease their financial burden.

The Sydney Morning Herald is reporting that those close to Cleary say the club have told him his contract decision affects several other key members of the club, while discussions have begun between his management and Penrith on what a new deal would look like.

Cleary's decision will also affect the climate of the league outside of where he signs. The Roosters will be looking for a replacement in the number seven jersey when veteran Cooper Cronk's deal expires in 2020, with Cleary, Tigers star Luke Brooks and and Warriors playmaker Shaun Johnson shaping as potential targets.

Panthers general manager Phil Gould has revealed he will not stand in Cleary's way if he wishes to team up with his dad at the Panthers. But should a Sydney or Brisbane enter the race, Gould will do what he can to retain the NSW halfback.

At this stage, Roosters chairman Nick Politis has told Gould, a good friend, they are not courting Cleary.

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