After reports emerged that Luciano Leilua was keen on moving back to Sydney from the North Queensland Cowboys, he has reportedly met with club officials from one Sydney club.

Asking for an immediate release from the remainder of his contract with the Cowboys, Leilua reportedly met with Shane Flanagan and club officials at the St George Illawarra Dragons on Tuesday as he looks to make a move before the start of the season.

In doing so, it is understood that the second-rower will be looking to receive a four-year contract from the Dragons, which will see him remain at the Red V until the end of the 2027 season.

“I'm of the understanding that it's a four-year deal that Leilua is hoping to get from the Red V,” Michelle Bishop said on SEN 1170 Breakfast.

“He met with Dragons coach Shane Flanagan (on Tuesday) and he is still in Sydney.

"Leilua will meet with the Dragons CEO and a few other important heads at the club on Wednesday.

“He wants to come home. He's not having a lot of fun up there (in Townsville).

“If you look at the bigger picture, it's probably a win-win for the Cowboys because they've got a couple of young guns in Kulikefu Finefeuiaki and Heilum Luki.

“The Cowboys have plenty of great and young backrowers coming through.”

TOWNSVILLE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 19: Luciano Leilua of the Cowboys celebrates after scoring a try during the round 23 NRL match between the North Queensland Cowboys and the New Zealand Warriors at Qld Country Bank Stadium, on August 19, 2022, in Townsville, Australia. (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)

A St George local junior, Leilua started his career with the Red V, playing 43 games for the club between 2016 and 2019, before moving to the Wests Tigers in 2020 where he played another 56 games before being released to join the Cowboys in the middle of 2022.

His stint in Townsville has been well below expectations, not helped by missing the first half of 2023 under the NRL's no-fault stand-down rule.

Leilua, who has played three Tests for Samoa to go with his 123 NRL games, has two years to run on his Cowboys' contract worth believed to be around $700,000 per year.

While it's understood the Dragons have salary cap space to bring him in, they currently do not have an open roster spot after signing Christian Tuipulotu from Manly last week.

It is understood that former Queensland representative Corey Allan is the favourite to drop out of the Top 30 roster, as he will be sidelined for the entire season due to an ACL injury.

“The Dragons will have to release at least one player from their current roster,” Bishop added.

“I'm hearing Corey Allen's name being mentioned and that's obviously because of his ACL issue.

“He will be sidelined for six to nine months so the Dragons may just pay him out.”