Stephen Crichton has confirmed this year will be his final season with the Penrith Panthers, opening the door for Cameron Ciraldo to finally snare his most long-awaited prize.

The Penrith centre has had an astonishing three years, playing in a Grand Final in each season, winning two, playing a World Cup final for Samoa, an Origin debut, and becoming the first player in nearly 40 years to score in three consecutive Grand Finals.

And he just turned 22.

A former assistant at the Panthers, Ciraldo signed as Canterbury's head coach midway through last year, however it appears the newly minted coach had Crichton in mind regardless of which club he landed at.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MAY 21: Panthers assistant coach Cameron Ciraldo looks on during the round 11 NRL match between the Sydney Roosters and the Penrith Panthers at Sydney Cricket Ground, on May 21, 2022, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

According to Brent Read on Triple M, Ciraldo floated Crichton's signature in each interview he held with a new club, telling his potential future employer that if he joined the club, 'Critta' would be top priority.

"Cameron Ciraldo in his interviews with other clubs I know he was saying to clubs, the one player I want you to make a priority signing if I come to your club is Stephen Crichton," Read said on the radio station.

“Those guys have got a really good relationship.

“It was pretty clear that Cameron wanted Crichton at whatever club he was at and he is at Canterbury.

“It will get knocked over pretty quickly I would imagine.

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 03: Stephen Crichton of the Panthers celebrates with Paul Momirovski of the Panthers after winning the 2021 NRL Grand Final match between the Penrith Panthers and the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Suncorp Stadium on October 03, 2021, in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

“I know the Wests Tigers are sniffing around him, but I think even they can see they are going to struggle because he wants to go to Canterbury.

“I reckon they will knock it over pretty quickly.”

Crichton would stroll into Canterbury's No. 1 jersey as soon as he walks through the doors at Belmore, dethroning Jake Averillo from the role as he'd re-team with former Panthers in Matt Burton and Viliame Kikau.