As the NRL's silly season continues and deals begin to be lined up like dominoes ready to come tumbling down, the question regarding what the competition's transfer window should really look like is being asked louder.
Smith is yet to put pen to paper, while Gutherson has re-signed with the Eels, but it's Kikau's apparent signing with the Canterbury Bulldogs which has angered fans.
The Penrith second-rower was in a leaked photo last week showing him alongside Canterbury Bulldogs' coach Trent Barrett and general manager Phil Gould while wearing a Bulldogs' polo shirt, apparently confirming he has signed with the club for 2023 onwards.
It's not just Kikau however. The NRL's rules currently allow players to sign with rival clubs 12 months before their contract ends, meaning they could have a destination locked in for the following season while still playing with their current club.
It's long been a sticking point for fans, leaving a sour taste in the mouth. Already this off-season alongside Kikau, Luke Metcalf, Marata Niukore and Isaiah Papali'i have swapped clubs for 2023, with more seemingly sure to follow in the weeks leading up to the Christmas break.
But Australian Rugby League Commission chairman Peter V'Landys doesn't seem overly happy with the current arrangement, telling The Sydney Morning Herald that changes are being considered when the current collective bargaining agreement comes to a finish at the end of the 2022 season.
“We have to find the right balance without hindering a player’s earning capacity and capability,” V’landys said.
“You have to remember a player only has a finite career and they have to make the most of that career, but at the same time I totally understand the fans’ frustration. We need to get the right balance.
“At the moment it’s not the right balance, but I can understand both sides.”
A trade or transfer window has been floated as an idea in the past, however, it has been met with mixed views from players and the Rugby League Players Association, meaning it could be a sticking point of the new collective bargaining agreement, which will need to be signed sometime in the next 12 months.
It's common knowledge some clubs aren't fans of the system though which could potentially force them to keep a player on the books for 12 months, despite the fact they would be at a different club the following year.
V'Landys re-iterated though that it would be about finding a balance.
“We appreciate it’s not ideal, but we’ll go through the process with the players and try to find a happy medium,” V’landys said.
“The players have to understand the people who pay their contracts are the fans, and you have to ensure you’re always paying attention to them. They’ve got other entertainment options.
“But I stress we have to find the right balance. I understand the players’ position, I understand the RLPA’s position and I understand the fans’ frustration.”