TOWNSVILLE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 27: Kalyn Ponga and Mitchell Pearce of the Knights looks on during the round seven NRL match between the North Queensland Cowboys and the Newcastle Knights at QCB Stadium on June 27, 2020 in Townsville, Australia. (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)

The chance of Mitchell Pearce running out in a Newcastle Knights jersey come Round 1 of the 2022 NRL season is looking slimmer and slimmer by the day.

The star half, who has one year to run on his Knights deal, is now expected to ask for a release within the next 24 hours.

That doesn't mean it will be granted though. The Knights have previously been reported as determined to not leave Pearce exit the Hunter until a suitable replacement has been found.

Pearce has also rumoured to have previously said he wants to finish his career in Sydney at the end of his current deal in Newcastle.

That seems to have well and truly changed however, with former teammate James Maloney part of the process to get him on board with the Catalan Dragons in France.

Maloney has just retired from playing at the top level following a stint with the Dragons.

Fox Sports are reporting the Knights have put yet another block in the way of the move happening however, reportedly requesting a transfer fee from the club.

That would then enable Pearce to take up potentially a three-year deal with the French club to round out a glittering career.

Pearce has 309 games of experience in the NRL, and while he could be replaced internally with Phoenix Crossland set to be re-signed, Adam Clune on the books and talented youngster Simi Sasagi at the club, it would appear the Knights won't budge until they have an experienced replacement.

That had been rumours over the weekend that Luke Brooks could be the man, however, director of football at the Wests Tigers Tim Sheens slammed those rumours on Sunday evening.

It's understood Pearce is yet to raise it officially with Newcastle coaches or officials, instead waiting for the official offer. That would backup coach Adam O'Brien's version of events, who told News Corp on Monday evening that Pearce hadn't contacted him.