The Dolphins are believed to be among five clubs circling Parramatta Eels' back rower Ryan Matterson, with the Parramatta Eels finally set to start talks.

Matterson's form in recent weeks has forced the club's hand, with Parramatta reportedly refusing to offer Matterson a new deal.

It came during a stretch when Parramatta had up to 18 players coming off-contract at the same time, with their salary cap set to be stretched to within an inch of its life.

That, however, hasn't happened, with all of Reed Mahoney, Ray Stone, Marata Niukore, Oregon Kaufusi and Isaiah Papali'i abandoning the club for the Canterbury Bulldogs, Dolphins, New Zealand Warriors, Cronulla Sharks and Wests Tigers respectively.

It's meant there is money free in the cap despite big contracts for Clint Gutherson, Mitchell Moses, Dylan Brown, Junior Paulo and Reagan Campbell-Gillard among others, and the club, on the back of some excellent form, are ready to discuss a contract with Matterson.

According to AAP five clubs including the Dolphins are circling for Matterson though, who is leaving all negotiations up to his manager until the final stage.

Parramatta's head of football told AAP that talks were now ready to start between Matterson's management and the club.

"We're going to have a chat with his manager in the coming week or so," O'Neill said.

"We wanted to give him a bit of time to focus on his footy. He is playing good footy, has a clear mind and is going really well."

Matterson, who has left other clubs previously in less than polite circumstances, has recently moved into the middle third, which has sparked his form off the bench.

The Eels are understandably desperate to hang onto the tall forward, having only made a single signature for 2023 in Josh Hodgson, and with the market for key second row options dwindling.