North Queensland could finally land their main target, with negotiations underway for Valentine Holmes and Ben Barba to switch clubs in time for the 2020 season.
WWOS understand after Barba completes his first season for the Cowboys in 2019, he will be involved in a swap deal with Holmes, meaning the Cowboys get their man, and Barba returns to Cronulla.
Holmes is keen to get back home and play in north Queensland, and while the Sharks are holding him to the final year of his contract next season, WWOS believe they won’t stand in his way any longer.
Barba won the 2016 grand final with the Sharks before being suspended by the NRL for a positive drug test, although has been dominating for St Helens in the Super League this season.
The former Shark will take hold of the No.1 jersey at the Cowboys next season, although that will be short-lived if the swap goes through, with Barba and Holmes to switch clubs at the end of next season.