PERTH, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 18: James Maloney looks on before a training session during a New South Wales Blues State of Origin media opportunity at Hale School on June 18, 2019 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

Former NRL star James Maloney could be set for a shock return to the league, according to nine.com.au.

Maloney signed a three-year deal with French Super League team Catalans Dragons late last year.

But with the league indefinitely shutdown to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 34-year old’s future is clouded.

The report states that Maloney has not received any approaches by any NRL team as of yet, but his name is coming in board conversations at several clubs.

It is believed that he knocked back a return to the NRL on a short-term deal a few months back due to quarantine issues and because he has four young children.

Maloney has played 249 NRL games, most recently playing for the Penrith Panthers last year.