GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 25: Dale Finucane of the Storm is tackled during the round 24 NRL match between the Gold Coast Titans and the Melbourne Storm at Cbus Super Stadium on August 25, 2018 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

Newcastle are understood to be in discussions with Origin duo Dale Finucane and Dane Gagai, with the star pair still off-contract this season.

The Knights have been linked to Gagai in recent weeks, with a potential reunion between the two parties now building momentum.

Finucane has been closely linked with a number of NSW clubs for 2022, with the Blues forward yet to make a call on his future in Melbourne.

SUNSHINE COAST, AUSTRALIA - MAY 24: Dale Finucane in action during a Melbourne Storm NRL training session at Sunshine Coast Stadium on May 24, 2021 in Sunshine Coast, Australia. (Photo by Albert Perez/Getty Images)

While both the Rabbitohs and Storm are hoping to retain their key players for next season, journalist Dean Ritchie reports that the Knights are making the respective situations a touch more difficult as they circle the veteran duo.

“There are talks that are ongoing regarding Dane Gagai and Dale Finucane,” Ritchie said on The Big Sports Breakfast.

“The Knights are in chats with the pair regarding next season given they are both off-contract.

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“The Storm desperately want to retain Finucane and are working exceptionally hard to try and find a way to keep him inside that crammed salary cap down there in Melbourne.

“South Sydney are also hoping to retain Dane Gagai, but they also have a heavy roster out there at Redfern.

NEWCASTLE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 18: Dane Gagai of the Knights in action during the round three NRL match between the Newcastle Knights and the South Sydney Rabbitohs at McDonald Jones Stadium on March 18, 2017 in Newcastle, Australia. (Photo by Ashley Feder/Getty Images)

“Finucane seems like he has been around forever, but he is only 29 and Gagai is only 30, so both those players you would think have another two, three, four years left in them.”

The Storm could be forced to offload Finucane should their salary cap strains persist. However the financial situations for the Victorian club have been buoyed by the pending departure of Nicho Hynes at season's end.

The club are understood to be nearing a new deal for superstar fullback Ryan Papenhuyzen though, while gun hooker Harry Grant will also be on the verge of contract discussions as he becomes available to discuss his future with rivals from November 1.

Melbourne Storm Training Session
GEELONG, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 22: Ryan Papenhuyzen of the Storm speaks to teammates during a Melbourne Storm NRL training session at Geelong Grammar School on January 22, 2021 in Geelong, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)

South Sydney are facing a similar dilemma with their own salary space, with Gagai placed as one of 13 players unsigned for the 2022 season at Redfern.

The club will already lose skipper Adam Reynolds to the Broncos from next year, while the likes of Jaydn Su'A and Benji Marshall could also command extensions.

The Knights have a bevy of key players yet to commit past 2021, with the likes of Phoenix Crossland, Lachlan Fitzgibbon, Tex Hoy, Hymel Hunt, Kurt Mann, Edrick Lee and Connor Watson all currently off-contract.