NRL Rd 3 - Knights v Wests Tigers
NEWCASTLE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 28: Michell Pearce with his team during the round three NRL match between the Newcastle Knights and the Wests Tigers at McDonald Jones Stadium on March 28, 2021, in Newcastle, Australia. (Photo by Ashley Feder/Getty Images)

Despite a reluctancy from both Newcastle and Cronulla, reports of Mitchell Pearce linking up with Craig Fitzgibbon in the Shire remain persistent.

Fox Sports' James Hooper believes the move that would reunite the two former Roosters is still on the cards as the Sharks look to secure a veteran halfback to pair with the incoming Nicho Hynes from next year.

While Pearce is currently contracted to the Knights for 2022 and has denied talks with Fitzgibbon following reports last month of a shock move, Hooper believes there is no ruling out the switch.

NEWCASTLE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 24: Mitchell Pearce of the Newcastle Knights in action during the round 11 NRL match between the Newcastle Knights and the Sydney Roosters at McDonald Jones Stadium on May 24, 2019 in Newcastle, Australia. (Photo by Tony Feder/Getty Images)

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Speaking on NRL 360, Hooper stated that the report continues to float on the surface of the rumour mill.

“We spoke about it a couple of weeks ago, and absolutely it won’t go away,” he said.

“He’s contracted with Newcastle for next year, he will be back on the field soon from that injury... but there is definitely conversations going on in the background.”

Paul Kent questioned the situation surrounding Pearce's latest deal with the Knights that was signed earlier this season and will see the 32-year-old take a pay-cut in 2022.

“You’ve got to remember he wanted two years and (Newcastle) only gave him one, and it came at a cut rate (salary),” Kent said.

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NEWCASTLE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 07: 7 Mitchell Pearce of the Knights during the round five NRL match between the Newcastle Knights and the Brisbane Broncos at McDonald Jones Stadium on April 7, 2018 in Newcastle, Australia. (Photo by Tony Feder/Getty Images)

“So it’s not like they were walking over broken bottles to try and get to him.”

Pearce and Fitzgibbon played together at Bondi before Fitzgibbon moved into the Chooks’ coaches box alongside Trent Robinson, with Pearce and the lethal coaching partnership all playing a major role in the club’s 2013 premiership success.

The Sharks have already lost Chad Townsend to North Queensland from 2022, while halfback Shaun Johnson has been notified by the club that his services won't be required past this season.