NRL Rd 16 - Panthers v Eels
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JULY 02: Tom Opacic of the Eels is seen wearing a black arm-band for the death of his brother Jakob, during the round 16 NRL match between the Penrith Panthers and the Parramatta Eels at BlueBet Stadium on July 02, 2021, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Out of contract Eels back Tom Opacic has claimed that although he would be happy to hear any offers from Wayne Bennett and the Dolphins, the 27-year-old is keen to stay on at Commbank Stadium.

Having entered the league in 2016, the Queenslander has plied his trade for both the Broncos and Cowboys before linking up with Brad Arthur's side ahead of the 2021 season.

Speaking via SEN radio waves, Opacic claimed he held a desire to remain an Eel beyond the cessation of the season, but with ties to the expansion franchise, the Redcliffe junior also stressed he could be lured back north at the right price.

“I don’t know what’s in store yet for next year," Opacic offered on Wednesday.

“Looking away from it, if it came up (a deal with the Dolphins), I’d definitely have a look.

“But, I’m happy here (with the Eels), and if an extension comes here I’ll take it with two hands.

“I’ll wait until I’m playing really well and in top form, then maybe we’ll see.”

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MAY 07: Tom Opacic of the Eels celebrates after scoring a try during the round nine NRL match between the Parramatta Eels and the Sydney Roosters at Bankwest Stadium on May 07, 2021, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

With Bennett and his recruiting staff having focused their previous energy on securing the services of forwards ahead of Round 1, 2023, should an offer be extended Opacic's way, it would signal a strong pivot to their approach at the player market.

Opacic has made 65 first-grade appearances, 22 as an Eel, and made 21 tackles during Parramatta's last-ditch loss to the Sharks last Saturday.

The centre has been listed to face Melbourne in Melbourne during Round 3 - a contest that has historically troubled the storied franchise over the years.

Kick-off between the finals fancies is scheduled for 5:30 pm local time at AAMI Park on Saturday night.