Sydney Roosters star fullback Joseph Suaalii is reportedly yet to take up his player option for the 2024 season.
Suaalii is now a year-by-year proposition at the tri-colours. His deal is set to expire completely at the end of next season, but the final two years of that contract - being 2023 and 2024 - were both set as player options.
The young gun, who has played predominantly on the wing for the Roosters, but is earmarked as a long-term option at fullback after playing the role for Samoa at the 2022 Rugby League World Cup in England, has taken his option to remain part of Trent Robinson's side in 2023.
It comes after a 2022 season where he became one of the NRL's best breakout talents, being selected to the New South Wales Blues extended State of Origin squad despite being just 19 years of age. He scored 15 tries in 19 NRL games during the campaign, having made his debut at the back end of the 2021 season as a 17-year-old.
His desire to move to fullback could yet prove part of the problem at the Roosters, as could money, with James Tedesco locked in at the club long-term, and Joseph Manu also re-signing, with the gun New Zealander set to be stuck in the centres.
News Corp's Phil Rothfield told Sky Sports Radio's Big Sports Breakfast on Monday that between NRL clubs and the Wallabies, the Roosters will struggle to hang onto him.
“I just don't see where they are going to be in a position to pay him, despite the fact he is still a teenager, the eight, nine hundred-thousand, towards a million dollars, that other clubs would be prepared to pay for the brightest young star in rugby league," Rothfield said.
“Having said that I know he loves the Roosters, he loves Trent Robinson, he's really grateful for the fact the club has educated him so patiently to help him adjust to the rigours of day in, day out NRL football.
“The other question is the Wallabies, they have struggled a lot in recent times to have big-name players.
“The Roosters don't want to put pressure on him but eventually he is going to have to make a decision… because he is off-contract at the end of this year and they need a call on him.”
It's understood multiple clubs are already showing interest in Suaalii, but it's the Wallabies who could prove the biggest threat.
The Australian Rugby Union has previously spoken about having cash to burn in the lead-up to the 2027 Rugby World Cup, with the tournament serving as a chance for some of the NRL's top stars to change to the 15-man code and play one of sport's biggest tournaments at home.
Suaalii is believed to be at the top of that list, while others include Angus Crichton and Cameron Murray.