MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 14: Dale Finucane of the Storm runs out during the round one NRL match between the Melbourne Storm and the Brisbane Broncos at AAMI Park on March 14, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

Cronulla have emerged as the frontrunners to land off-contract Storm veteran Dale Finucane, per Wide World of Sports' The Mole.

Finucane previously opened up on his future as the Storm's strict salary could see the 29-year-old squeezed out of Victoria.

The Origin forward told that he will be "considering all options" as he weighs up a decision for 2022 and beyond.

There obviously are some salary cap issues. It’s something I would like to have sorted as soon as possible," Finucane said.

“I’ve had some conversations with some other clubs. I’ve spoke to a few people at other clubs. But as it is at the moment I haven’t had a term or monetary figure."

It is understood that as many as four NRL clubs have shown interest in Finucane, with the Sharks currently favourites to land the lock's signature.

The Dragons, Cowboys, Bulldogs and Tigers have previously been linked to the Melbourne co-captain.

GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 25: Dale Finucane of the Storm is tackled during the round 24 NRL match between the Gold Coast Titans and the Melbourne Storm at Cbus Super Stadium on August 25, 2018 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

Melbourne are keen to retain Finucane to aid their developing forward crop for the future, but the New South Welshman would likely need to take a pay-cut to do so.

Incoming Sharks coach Craig Fitzgibbon is looking to build on his roster for when he arrives in the Shire hot-seat in 2022, with Cronulla already having Dragons forward Cameron McInnes join at this season's end.

Fitzgibbon was reportedly seen meeting with off-contract Melbourne fullback Nicho Hynes on the weekend and also holds a strong relationship with Finucane given their extensive time together with the NSW Blues.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 30: Nicho Hynes of the Storm is tackled during the round eight NRL match between the Melbourne Storm and the Cronulla Sharks at AAMI Park on April 30, 2021, in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

Cronulla are set to free up a large portion of their 2022 budget with 13 players unsigned past this year, including high-priced names such as Josh Dugan, Aaron Woods and Matt Moylan.