The Manly Sea Eagles are digging their heels in over rookie front-rower Viliami Fifita, following reports revealing the prop was on his way to Wollongong this season.

The St George Illawarra Dragons were last week tipped to boost their middle forward stocks and secure two Manly rookies immediately, however the deal for Fifita is off the table for the time being.

Despite being contracted through to the end of next season, Fifita's agent Mario Tartak was reportedly under the impression that the prop would be granted the release.

The Sea Eagles' CEO, Tony Mestrov, didn't seem to get that memo.

“We're not releasing him,” Mestrov told The Sydney Morning Herald.

“He has a two-year contract. He's a quality young front-rower and he's staying here. He's spoken to the club and declared his wish to stay here.”

The 22-year-old has been tipped to make his NRL debut this year after a strong pre-season challenge, notably his offloading ability and hulking frame, however Manly's hot start to the season have delayed those plans.

Anthony Seibold is yet to hand out an NRL debut at Manly as of yet, coming close to selecting hooker Gordon Chan Kum Tong, only to opt for Kaeo Weekes as the bench utility in both victories.

Mestrov is backing the newly-appointed coach for a stellar maiden season in Brookvale.

“This situation he finds himself in at Manly is very similar to when he had success at South Sydney,” Mestrov said.

“He had senior players, like he does now with Daly Cherry-Evans and the Trbojevic brothers. He did well in that environment and gave young players a crack around them like he's doing now. He's an astute footy brain.

“He had his challenges at Brisbane but it wasn't the right environment for him. He's learnt from his successes and his mistakes.”

The Sea Eagles will look to extend their unbeaten run on Saturday as they travel to Accor Stadium to face the South Sydney Rabbitohs, Seibold's former club, and while he's no certainty to play, expect Fifita to be named in the 22-man squad as the club plays hardball.