Fonua-Blake recently requested a compassionate release from the New Zealand club due to personal issues that would see him return to Sydney to look after his parents.
While his immediate future will see him remain at the club for next season, it is highly likely he will be let go at the end of next season to join a rival club for the 2025 season. However, in return, the Warriors are looking for compensation for the Dally M Prop of the Year.
The New Zealand Warriors target list includes Isaiah Papali'i and Stefano Utoikamanu from the Wests Tigers, Viliame Kikau from the Canterbury Bulldogs and Jaydn Su'A from the St George Illawarra Dragons, per News Corp.
It is understood that the Bulldogs will not contemplate letting Viliame Kikau go, meaning this could potentially see them exit the race for Fonua-Blake.
The same can be said for Stefano Utoikamanu, considering his age and sources indicating that he has no desire to leave Sydney after he and his partner are expecting their second baby.
Su'A's desire to move away from Australia is currently unknown, but Papali'i has previously indicated that he wants to remain in Sydney. This comes despite being a former Warriors roster member between 2017-2020.
News Corp has also reported that the Wests Tigers edge back-rower is not shopping him around at this present stage but that could change.
Their departures mean the Sharks have a reported $750,000 to spend after it opened up space in the club's salary cap. Veteran Dale Finucane will also reportedly move from $750,000 a season salary to $300,000 for the 2025 season.
Jayden Berrell, Max Bradbury, Billy Burns, Jesse Colquhoun, Braden Hamlin-Uele, Tuku Hau Tapuha, Mawene Hiroti, Kayal Iro, Niwhai Puru, Siteni Taukamo, and Jack Williams are also off-contract at the end of next season and could be let go if the club need extra space in their cap.
“The combined salary of Moylan and Tracey sat at around $750,000,” The Daily Telegraph's journalist David Riccio said on SEN 1170 Breakfast.
“The Sharks will start to enter the discussions around Fonua-Blake (and) the Sharks could use an enforcer.
“Whether the Sharks are willing to go to the $1 million price range is yet to be seen.
“They now have flexibility that wasn't there two weeks ago. It wouldn't be wise for them not to disregard the option of Fonua-Blake.”