New Zealand Warriors half Chanel Harris-Tavita is set to hold critical contract talks with the club in the coming weeks as he closes on a decision regarding his future.
The Harris-Tavita story is a long and, in some ways, complicated one over the last 12 months.
Off-contract at the end of 2023, the Warriors made it clear to the half last year when former recruitment boss Peter O'Sullivan was at the club that he wouldn't be offered a contract until the club had assessed how he played over the first six rounds of this year when paired with the arriving Shaun Johnson.
That all changed with the departure of O'Sullivan to the Dolphins though, with new general manager of football Craig Hodges offering Harris-Tavita a two-year deal to remain at the club.
Those negotiations have had added layers of complexity on two fronts though, with Stuff.co.nz reporting that Harris-Tavita is reportedly keen on testing the market, and has three clubs showing interest in him, with one of those being the Canberra Raiders.
It would hardly be a surprise if the Newcastle Knights were another given their problems in attack and shortage in the halves. The Dolphins are also regularly linked to every player off-contract, however, O'Sullivan's position at the club makes it no guarantee.
With the Warriors since signing Luke Metcalf for 2023 and beyond, as well as welcoming Daejarn Asi to the club in the past couple of weeks on an immediate swap from the North Queensland Cowboys, it adds another layer of complexity to the negotiations for Harris-Tavita.
Asi isn't contracted beyond the end of 2022, however, his club debut - where he had a hand in two tries against the Canberra Raiders - could have the club making priority moves to lock Asi up.
Add Johnson's place in the side into that mix, as well as the recent signing of Sydney Roosters' young gun Ronald Volkman and Manly Sea Eagles utility Dylan Walker, and game time looks less and less certain for Harris-Tavita, once rated as one of the best young halves in the game.
While the publication are reporting that talks between Harris-Tavita, the club and his manager Stan Martin will take place in the coming week in Brisbane, there is no guarantee the 23-year-old half, who has played 44 NRL games, will take up a new deal with the club.
He is currently nursing an injury and is expected to return to the NRL in the coming month.