McDonnell has been linked to Hull KR for several weeks and Mika is believed to be leaning towards the Robins after earlier interest from other Super League clubs, including Castleford, and NSW Super Rugby franchise the Waratahs.
Sandercock, who was appointed to the Hull KR job late last month ahead of former Bulldogs coach Kevin Moore and several other high-profile candidates, is back in Newcastle after a week-long trip to England to be unveiled as the Robins’ coach for the next two years.
The Newcastle Herald understands McDonnell and Mika are close to agreeing to terms on two-year deals, but Sandercock was reluctant to comment yesterday.
‘‘Obviously with my relationship with them, I think they’re both first-graders and I would love to have them with me, but nothing’s been confirmed yet,’’ Sandercock said.
Of the Knights players contracted beyond this season who were asked to move on because they did not figure in incoming coach Wayne Bennett’s plans, Mika is the last to find a new home.