Penrith centre Brent Naden has reportedly held talks with Canterbury coach Trent Barrett ahead of his likely return to the NRL this week.
Naden has missed the opening few rounds of the season due to a club-imposed ban after testing positive to cocaine on the weekend of the 2020 NRL Grand Final and is now tipped to make his comeback against the Knights this week.
With recruit Paul Momirovski facing a likely spell on the sidelines as he fronts the NRL Judiciary on Tuesday, Naden could land a spot on Ivan Cleary's bench, with Tyrone May potentially earning a starting role.
Naden, who is off-contract this season, is understood to be gaining interest from the Bulldogs and Tigers, with the former's coach meeting with the 25-year-old on Monday, according to The Australian's Brent Read.
Read reports that Barrett held a meeting with Naden and his family in Canterbury in an effort to attract the Penrith centre to Belmore.
Since Barrett's arrival at the Bulldogs, the club has seen promising signs of growth in the recruiting department but are yet to claim premiership points after the opening six matches of the season.
Their on-field woes could be combatted in the near future with the imminent arrivals of 2022 recruits Josh Addo-Carr and Matt Burton.
SIGNING NEWS: Broncos sign former Manly and Knights hooker
The pending arrival of the Storm flyer and Penrith young gun along with the possible acquisition of Naden would add great depth to Barrett's outside-back stocks.
The Bulldogs will be looking to open their account this weekend when they face Cronulla on Saturday, while the Panthers will be looking to extend their undefeated start against Newcastle on Thursday night.