Newcastle Knights Training Session
NEWCASTLE, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 06: Adam O'Brien coach of the Newcastle Knights during a Newcastle Knights NRL training session at Newcastle on February 06, 2020 in Newcastle, Australia. (Photo by Tony Feder/Getty Images)

A deadly mix of salary cap problems and too many back-rowers in the squad could cost the Newcastle Knights a touted future star in Zac Hosking.

While Hosking, at the age of 24, is yet to make his NRL debut, he has been a rock solid figure for the Newcastle Knights at reserve grade level.

He has won the club player of the year twice on the trot now, and is also able to mix it up at lock, having started a handful of games in the middle third before the eventual suspension and cancellation of this year's competition.

Hosking had made 12 appearances of the 15 games played, playing the full 80 minutes on three occasions for two tries, five line breaks, 19 tackle busts, 13 offloads and an average of more than 100 metres per game.

Arguably, the 24-year-old would have made his debut by now if not for the long list of strong second-row options in the Knights' top 30 squad including Tyson Frizell, Lachlan Fitzgibbon, Mitch Barnett and Brodie Jones.

NEWCASTLE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 12: Tyson Frizell of the Knights celebrates the win with team mates during the round one NRL match between the Newcastle Knights and the Canterbury Bulldogs at McDonald Jones Stadium, on March 12, 2021, in Newcastle, Australia. (Photo by Ashley Feder/Getty Images)

Instead of debuting though, Hosking hasn't been even able to crack a top-30 contract, and according to The Mole for Wide World of Sports, it appears other clubs are lining up for Hosking.

Off-contract at the end of the year, he is yet to receive an offer for the Knights.

His manager Steve Gillis told The Mole that he will leave if he has to.

"He's a great kid and wants to stay but if he has to leave, then Zac will," Gillis said.

The Knights are reportedly in talks with Enari Tuala to extend his contract, while development players Chris Randall and Jack Johns are also likely to be upgraded to the top 30 squad. Phoenix Crossland is another currently in talks with the club, while Tex Hoy is also expected to re-sign.

With only four departures in Blake Green, Josh King, Gehamat Shibasaki and Connor Watson, to go with additions in Dane Gagai and Adam Clune, the Knights' top 30 squad for 2022 is looking settled with few spaces left, making it more likely that Hosking will leave the club.