Finally, after months of speculation, Martin Taupau is set to finally find a home in the NRL for 2023.
Taupau was told at the start of the season that the Manly Sea Eagles wouldn't be re-signing the front-rower at seasons end, putting a halt to his seven-year, 156 NRL game career at the club.
The former Kiwi had to pay for his own insurance at the World Cup because he was off-contract in the NRL, and wasn't covered by clubland for the tournament finals, meaning he hasn't been on the payroll since November 1st.
The prop nearly joined the Eels mid-season, however the deal fell through after Manly refused to release the 32 year-old veteran for the remainder of the season.
The Daily Telegraph is reporting that despite having five NRL clubs after his signature now the salary cap drama is resolved, Parramatta have re-emerged as favourites as the Grand Finalists look to release Nathan Brown effective immediately.
Brown's likely move to the Wests Tigers for 2023 leaves a hole in Parramatta middle-third rotation, a position set to be filled by Taupau, and on significantly less money.
Whilst Nathan Brown is on reportedly close to $600,000 per season, Taupau would command significantly less at his age, set to turn 33 shortly before trials commence in February.
It's believed South Sydney and Newcastle were also interested in the veteran's signature for next season, with the two clubs losing Mark Nicholls and David Klemmer respectively, leaving a hole in their starting prop rotation.
Whilst Parramatta are drawing closer to his signature, their focus is still very much on Mitchell Moses as the halfback looks to set his future in stone just weeks after Dylan Brown's long-term extension.