NEWCASTLE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 29: Mitchell Pearce of the Newcastle Knights looks to pass the ball during the round 15 NRL match between the Newcastle Knights and the Brisbane Broncos at McDonald Jones Stadium on June 29, 2019 in Newcastle, Australia. (Photo by Tony Feder/Getty Images)

Speculation is mounting that a famous name could be returning to the Tigers.

The immediate future of Newcastle Knights' half-back Mitchell Pearce is up in the air, despite the veteran being contracted at the club through the end of 2022.

Pearce has been linked to a number of clubs including the Bulldogs and Raiders, but the Sydney Morning Herald's Michael Chammas believes the stars are aligning for the 32-year-old to move to the Tigers.

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The obvious reason would be the affiliation the Pearce name has at the West Tigers, with Mitch's dad Wayne playing his entire 11-year career for Balmain throughout the entirety of the 1980s.

Pearce is also understood to want to finish his career back in Sydney, with the Bulldogs believed to be attempting to clear space in their salary cap to accommodate Pearce.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 24: Mitchell Pearce of the Knights looks on after another Tigers try during the round 23 NRL match between the Wests Tigers and the Newcastle Knights at Campbelltown Stadium on August 24, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt Blyth/Getty Images)

Wayne was also the joint venture's inaugural coach back in 2000, a monumental year for the club that started with a 24-24 draw against the Broncos in Campbelltown.

It's not only the family history that may play a role in Mitch Pearce considering a move the West.

"Pearce’s best friend Liam Roach, who is the son of former Balmain legend Steve Roach, works for Tigers chairman Lee Hagipantelis at Brydens Lawyers." Chammas wrote.

"CEO Justin Pascoe also struck up a relationship with Pearce after they bumped into each other and spent time together in New York City on holidays a few years ago. General manager Adam Hartigan is also friends with Pearce from their time together at the Sydney Roosters."

"You’d be naive to think conversations aren’t being had."

Luke Brooks is the current halfback for the Tigers, which has many questioning the Tigers interest in Pearce, but it is in fact a major reason the Tigers are looking into the acquisition so intently.

It's understood the Tigers view Pearce as the perfect foil to Brooks in the halves, who played his best football alongside Benji Marshall in 2018.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 01: Luke Brooks of the Tigers passes during the round 20 NRL match between the Wests Tigers and the North Queensland Cowboys at Leichhardt Oval on August 01, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

It would then allow Adam Doueihi to play in the centres, with Jackson Hastings playing in the forwards, likely off the bench as a lock and hooker.

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Pearce would be a great mentor to guide an admittedly struggling Brooks, who could benefit greatly alongside the former premiership winner and State of Origin representative.

The West Tigers won their maiden title in 2005, with the side being starved of the ultimate success ever since. With one of the longer finals droughts in the competition, the Tigers haven't been in the top eight since 2011, making interest in a player of Pearce's calibre a fair indication that the waiting game will hope to end in 2022.

Pearce is contracted through the end of 2022 on a deal reportedly worth around the half a million mark.

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