BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 28: Anthony Milford of the Knights looks on ahead of the round 12 NRL match between the New Zealand Warriors and the Newcastle Knights at Moreton Daily Stadium, on May 28, 2022, in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Albert Perez/Getty Images)

Anthony Milford's anticipated move to NRL newcomers the Dolphins is no guarantee, with his current club Newcastle reportedly keen to retain the Samoan playmaker.

Milford has been touted to join his third club in as many seasons in a proposed venture to reunite with former senior coach Wayne Bennett at Redcliffe next year, with the former Broncos five-eighth potentially filling a void in the Dolphins' halves stocks.

The 27-year-old departed the Broncos at the end of last year and had gained a lifeline with South Sydney for 2023, before his arrest for charges of assault soon saw his contract at Redfern torn up by the NRL.

Milford has since been found not guilty of the charges, but instead of linking up with Jason Demetriou's cause, the journeyman found a reprieve with Newcastle on a one-year deal.

With another contract decision on the horizon, and the Dolphins needing to fill 30 list spots by the year's end, a move north looked to be a fitting outcome for both Bennett and Milford.

And while the Dolphins have reportedly agreed to partner with Milford, the Knights could spoil the party as they too plan to lock in their halves depths for next year.

According to Triple M's Brent Read, the Knights's offering of a long-term deal could persuade Milford to remain in the Hunter.

“Milford has a handshake agreement with the Dolphins to go back to Queensland next year,” Read said. “He has a handshake agreement with Wayne Bennett and the Dolphins.

“Newcastle desperately want him to stay. They are talking about a multi-year deal.

“At the Dolphins my understanding is it is only a one-year term.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MAY 06: Anthony Milford of Samoa celebrates with team mates after scoring a try during the 2017 Pacific Test Invitational match between England and Samoa at Campbelltown Sports Stadium on May 6, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)

“The Knights are hoping they can convince him to stay by offering him a few more years."

A factor that could be drawn into the Knights' thinking could be the future of Tigers halfback Luke Brooks, who has reportedly been in the sights of Knights in the past 12 months.

Brooks, who is possibly on the outer of selection at Concord midway through this season, has had his name linked to the exit doors at the venture club, and not for the first time.

Read has speculated that the Knights could prioritise a move for Brooks over retaining Milford should the Wests Tigers' No.7 be available to rival clubs.

“It is one of those ones that hangs in the balance a bit and it might hinge on the Wests Tigers and what they decide to do with Luke Brooks," Read added.

“If they decide they are happy for Luke Brooks to go and Newcastle was obviously a club that was interested in Brooks in the off-season.

“If the Knights were to make another bid for Luke Brooks then potentially they will drop off Milford.

“But at the moment they are trying to convince Milford to stay.”

Milford has looked to offer Adam O'Brien consistency in his halves across the past month, with the Knights coach having mixed and matched his pairing across the course of this year.

After failing to get the best out of Jake Clifford, Adam Clune and Phoeniz Crossland, O'Brien has relied on Milford in the No.6 jumper across their past four matches.