The North Queensland Cowboys are set to confirm a major piece of their puzzle moving forward, with Heilum Luki understood to have agreed to terms on a new deal.

Luki wasn't off-contract until the end of next season, but had a player option in his favour for 2025, meaning he has been a free agent and able to negotiate with rival clubs since November 1 in 2023.

Despite touring facilities at the St George Illawarra Dragons over the Christmas break and being understood to have fielded inquiries from a number of other clubs including the Canberra Raiders, News Corp has now reporting Luki will put pen to paper on a new deal which will see him remain at the Cowboys on a deal worth $2 million over the next three years.

It's understood Luki will take the player option and upgrade his deal for 2025 before adding more seasons to the contract.

Todd Payten said the Cowboys are 'optimistic' a deal will be done soon for the currently injured Luki following Friday's game against the Broncos.

“I think he will stay. We're very optimistic something will be done soon. We have put a lot of time and effort into Heilum and we're confident he will stay. It's a good sign for the club and the environment we have created," Payten said per News Corp.

“Playing for our club means something for our local juniors like Jeremiah and Heilum and hopefully we build off the back of that.”

It means the Cowboys will have locked up two pieces of their second-row puzzle, withattention now set to turn towards Kulikefu Finefeuiaki, who is off-contract at the end of the season and has received mega offers from other clubs as well.

The Cowboys are confident of being able to retain the boom youngster on a new deal despite the Dolphins being among the clubs looking to prize him away from the Cowboys.

The Dolphins could offer Finefeuiaki an immediate starting spot, something the Cowboys likely couldn't given Jeremiah Nanai and Luki are at the club.

The Cowboys' pressure for minutes in the second-row did ease recently though with the release of Luciano Leilua to the St George Illawarra Dragons.