SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 28: Kotoni Staggs of the Broncos looks on after a Roosters try during the round 16 NRL match between the Sydney Roosters and the Brisbane Broncos at the Sydney Cricket Ground on August 28, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Rival interest levels for off-contract Broncos centre Kotoni Staggs have risen once again despite Parramatta and Gold Coast recently pulling out of the race for the 22-year-old.

According to Fox Sports’ James Hooper, the Newcastle Knights are the latest potential suitor to enter the race for the New South Wales outside-back.

Staggs is yet to make a call on his future from 2022, with the Broncos and Bulldogs now being joined by the Novacastrians in pursuing his signature.

Speaking on NRL 360 this week, Hooper revealed that Staggs is hoping to lock-down a long-term deal as Newcastle begin their negotiations with the Wellington product.

NRL Rd 15 - Broncos v Dragons
BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA – AUGUST 21: Kotoni Staggs of the Broncos looks on during the round 15 NRL match between the Brisbane Broncos and the St George Illawarra Dragons at Suncorp Stadium on August 21, 2020 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images)

Kotoni Staggs we’ve spoken about Parramatta, I heard he knocked the offer back because they wouldn’t offer him a fourth season,” Hooper said.

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“I’ve heard the Knights are a smokey and are at the negotiation table which would explain why he’s holding on for so long.”

Reports have suggested Staggs is waiting out to see if the Broncos can land a high-profile playmaker for next season, with a move to five-eighth on the cards when the Brisbane bull returns from an ACL injury in the latter half of this season.

The Broncos have been closely linked to several big-name halfbacks, including Souths skipper Adam Reynolds, Sea Eagles star Daly Cherry-Evans and Cronulla veteran Shaun Johnson.

Staggs might not be the only rising star to depart Red Hill this season, with State of Origin calibre flyer Xavier Coates reportedly nearing a deal with the Melbourne Storm.

NRL Rd 12 - Broncos v Sharks
BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA – JULY 31: Kotoni Staggs and Xavier Coates of the Broncos look dejected looks dejected after their team loses the round 12 NRL match between the Brisbane Broncos and the Cronulla Sharks on July 31, 2020 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Senior journalist Phil Rothfield believed the two parties were close to agreed terms on a move that would see Coates head to Victoria from 2022.

“Someone sent me a photo from the Gold Coast last December where Craig BellamyXavier Coates and his manager were having a coffee at Coolangatta,” Rothfield said Big Sports Breakfast.

“I then got a phone call over the weekend saying that Xavier was on a plane after his Friday night game, flying to Melbourne. He met with the Storm and had a look at their facilities.

“They tell me he’s on the verge of signing with the Storm.”

The twin departures would be the latest of highly-touted talents to leave the coop before reaching their full potential, with Roosters half Sam Walker and Warriors young gun Reece Walsh having left the Broncos in recent seasons prior to making their debuts.