Incoming Gold Coast Titans coach Des Hasler may not begin his tenure at the club until pre-season, but he has already commenced work on what could be the biggest issue facing the club.

Following Justin Holbrook's surprise removal as head coach earlier this year, it was revealed that David Fifita and Tino Fa'asuamaleaui both became free agents with a three-month window to confirm their immediate futures.

While it appears less and less likely by the day that any rival club would have the cash for either of the State of Origin representative forwards, the issue was pressing enough for Hasler to sit down with both players, according to The Australian's Brent Read.

“Dessy Hasler hasn't started up there yet but he's doing a lot of work in the background, he sat down with Tino and Dave Fifita last week,” Read told Triple M Radio.

“He talked to them about how he sees their careers and what he thinks he can do for them.

“Des is doing everything he can to keep them around. He actually sat down with them separately and was armed with statistics and all sorts of information about their careers and also the club and the direction he wants to take it in and I think he's hopeful that meeting with those guys will convince them to stay."

It comes with both players having indicated they will explore their options.

The decision could be painted as the biggest of Fifita's career, given he is on-contract at the Gold Coast otherwise until 2026, and coming off a season where his form went well and truly above and beyond that of last season, which his next contract value was based upon given he confirmed his long-term future in the first week of March this year.

Fa'asuamaleaui, on the other hand, who is club captain on the Gold Coast, player options for the 2025 and 2026 seasons, meaning that even if he agrees to go around again with the Titans, he can sign with a rival club from 2025 from November 1.

Read said Hasler's picture of the future at the Titans may be enough to retain the two stars though.

“If Des is able to paint a picture about how he sees their careers unfolding and they like that picture, then I reckon there's a good chance they will stay,” Read said.