The Newcastle Knights have had a second plan ruined by the Wigan Warriors, with the club reportedly set to be forced into a bidding war if they wish to bring Bevan French back to Australia in 2023.

French, an ex-Eels winger, left for the Super League after falling out of favour in the west of Sydney.

He struggled through the early part of his stint with Wigan, but has turned it on in recent times, with the club in the finals currently.

French has reportedly considered a move back to Australia on the back of a number of eye-catching performances this year for the Warriors, but it's those performance which have the club wanting to hold the winger long-term.

The 26-year-old was reportedly close to making the switch back to Australia before the most recent development in the contract fight, according to The Newcastle Herald.

It's understood that Wigan's contract offer significantly outsized that which the Knights were willing to offer the way of French, who could have come straight into the starting side next season given the departure of Edrick Lee, who will join the Dolphins for 2023 and beyond.

The Knights have other options in their squad, with Enari Tuala and Dominic Young likely to be the first-choice options based on their 30-man squad as it stands right now.

It has also been potentially touted that French could make the switch to fullback, with Adam O'Brien still weighing up the idea of Kalyn Ponga moving to the halves to address Newcastle's horrid attack. That looks an unlikely scenario though given the recent signing of Tyson Gamble from the Brisbane Broncos.

French played 47 games during his time for the Eels.