Three players could be on the move in the latest NRL transfer merry-go-round, with the Melbourne Storm following developments around Wests Tigers' forward Stefano Utoikamanu.

Utoikamanu is well known to have a clause in his contract that will allow him to move on from the Tigers if they don't play finals football this year.

The highly-rated prop has previously attempted to shut down the notion that he would move on from the club, but it's clear speculation will pick up if the Tigers don't have a strong start to the year, kicking off with a difficult Round 1 trip to the nation's capital where they clash with the Canberra Raiders.

While the Tigers will be keen to not lose the highly-rated prop, it may not be quite that simple with numerous external factors around the league reportedly set to bring the Melbourne Storm into play for Utoikamanu's signature, per a News Corp report.

Those external factors kick off in Townsville, with Kulikefu Finefeuiaki set to be chased by the Dolphins.

The young second-rower is behind Heilum Luki and Jeremiah Nanai for a start in Townsville, and will likely spend 2024 coming off the bench but is off-contract at the end of 2024.

The Dolphins, who are cashed up, can offer the second-rower an immediate starting spot.

That has reportedly left the Cowboys to identify Melbourne Storm youngster Jack Howarth as the potential replacement to add depth in their second-row.

Born in Mackay and only having a single first-grade game to his name, Howarth could well entertain a switch away from his big-money, five-year deal in the Victorian capital.

The cash that would free up then likely could see the Storm chase a middle forward. It's an area they struggled in throughout 2023, being smashed by the Penrith Panthers in the preliminary final through the middle of the park.

Utoikamanu would fill an enormous issue for the Victorian-based club in the middle if he did decide to exit the Tigers, although it's unclear exactly how things will pan out in 2024, and the Tigers' performance under new coach Benji Marshall could have a big say.

Should he remain at the Tigers, Utoikamanu is otherwise off-contract with the joint-venture at the end of 2025.