SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 24: Luke Garner of the Tigers watches on during the round two NRL match between the Wests Tigers and the New Zealand Warriors at Campbelltown Stadium on March 24, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Reported interest in Wests Tigers' second-rower Luke Garner is set to spark an NRL merry-go-round and flurry of transfer market activity.

Garner has been long linked with a move to Manly, the rumours stretching all the way back to 2020.

He is on contract at the Tigers until the end of next year, but with few recruits for 2022, the Tigers are understandably desperate to revamp their roster.

It's understood they have their eyes firmly planted on sacked Canterbury Bulldogs middle forward Adam Elliott, and out of favour St George Illawarra Dragons second-rower Tariq Sims.

MAITLAND, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 22: Tariq Sims of the Dragons during the NRL Trial match between the Newcastle Knights and the St George Illawarra Dragons at Maitland No. 1 Sportsground on February 22, 2020 in Maitland, Australia. (Photo by Tony Feder/Getty Images)

They won't have the space to get the moves down without moving on a portion of their salary cap, and The Australian's Brent Read told Triple M Radio on Thursday that Garner, who finished 2021 on the injury shelf following 18 appearances, could be the key to making it happen.

“There has been some talk around Luke Garner for a couple of years now and he was linked with Manly last year,” Read said.

“There has been a bit of a freeze on player movement at the Tigers while they resolve the coaching situation, but Luke Garner’s name has appeared on the radar of some other NRL clubs.

“My sense is he may leave over the off-season and it depends on which club is interested. Manly is a club that has been linked with previously."

The problem for the Sea Eagles is that they simply don't have the room to fit him in, however, it's also been reported that damaging prop Martin Taupau has permission to look around.

If he leaves, then the space for Garner will open up, with the Sea Eagles likely looking at the edge forward as a replacement for Curtis Sironen, who has signed on in the English Super League.

“At the moment Manly don’t have the room to fit him in but if Marty Taupau happens to go and Marty has been given permission to explore his options on the open market then maybe that brings Manly into play," Read added.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JULY 21: Martin Taupau of the Sea Eagles warms up prior to the round 18 NRL match between the Manly Sea Eagles and the Parramatta Eels at Lottoland on July 21, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

“They have a relationship with Luke Garner. He played under-20s with Tom Trbojevic so he is good friends with Trbojevic and I believe he still lives on the Northern Beaches.

“That is one to watch and it will hinge on the coaching situation at the Tigers and also what happens with Marty Taupau and if he finds another club and if he decides to move in the off-season.”

Should that all come to fruition, then it could well mean the Tigers secure the signing of either Sims, Elliott, or possibly both.

Sims was told by the Dragons he won't be getting a new deal past 2022 recently, but has also been given permission to negotiate for 2022, while Elliott was cut by the Bulldogs following an off-field incident.

“I wonder if it also has implications for either Tariq Sims or Adam Elliott,” Read said.

“The Tigers have been linked with both those guys. If they are willing to let Luke Garner go that would suggest that perhaps they think that one of those guys is going to arrive."