Newcastle playmaker Mitchell Pearce is set to request an immediate release from the final year of his contract with the Knights after being tabled a rich deal to join Super League club Catalans next season.
This latest development comes in the wake of Friday morning's reports that Pearce had been extended a three-year contract by the Dragons that is said to be worth in the vicinity of $1.8 million AUD per season.
While The Daily Telegraph's Dean Ritchie claimed that the contracted Pearce was yet to come to a decision ahead of the weekend, fellow Telegraph scribe David Riccio has suggested the former Blues half is now set to tell the Knights he wants out within the next 48-hours.
Should his request be accepted, the 32-year-old Pearce will shift north to replace his former Origin partner James Maloney at the French franchise.
Riccio held the view that both Maloney and Pearce's premiership teammate, Sam Moa, were guiding influences in swaying the international representative to trade Merewether Beach for the white sands of Perpignan.
Though it is unknown who will replace the tattooed halfback next season, with Kalyn Ponga perpetually linked with a shift further up the field, head coach Adam O'Brien could well be tempted to deploy the headgear-wearing Queenslander in a playmaking role.
While no official call has been made by the club, if Pearce does depart, Riccio claimed that Newcastle will have $600,000 of cap space to spend in looking for a suitable successor from November 1.