SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JULY 04: Mitchell Pearce and James Maloney of the Blues walk out onto the field to train during a New South Wales Blues State of Origin training session at the NSWRL Centre of Excellence on July 04, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Despite having a year to run on his contract with the Newcastle Knights, Mitchell Pearce could find himself calling the Pyrénées home next season.

With Super League side Catalans reportedly in the market to replace the recently retired James Maloney, Pearce's name has been touted as the prime candidate to fill the former journeyman's void.

As the 32-year-old is reportedly consuming a large portion of the Knights' salary cap, they could be persuaded to part company with the halfback.

And as Pearce's contract in the Hunter is set to conclude at the cessation of next season, he could opt out a year early should a change of scenery catch his fancy.

NEWCASTLE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 24: Mitchell Pearce of the Newcastle Knights in action during the round 11 NRL match between the Newcastle Knights and the Sydney Roosters at McDonald Jones Stadium on May 24, 2019 in Newcastle, Australia. (Photo by Tony Feder/Getty Images)

The news of Pearce's proposed Mediterranean sea change came to light via journalist David Riccio's comments on Tuesday night.

“This will be a developing around Mitchell Pearce as we come to the end of the season and basically the November 1 period of which players off contract at the end of next season can start to negotiate with rival clubs,” Riccio told Fox League.

“I can tell you that Catalans in the Super League based in the south of France have and will make a play for Mitchell Pearce as a direct replacement for James Maloney.

“Now we know that Maloney announced last week that he’s retiring from all forms of the game - the NRL and the Super League - and is standing down and completing his career at the end of the season and the Catalans Dragons have identified Mitchell Pearce as the perfect replacement for Maloney."

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 24: Mitchell Pearce of the Knights looks on after another Tigers try during the round 23 NRL match between the Wests Tigers and the Newcastle Knights at Campbelltown Stadium on August 24, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt Blyth/Getty Images)

Irrespective of their interest, Catalans are set to face competition in their pursuit of the former Origin representative, as Riccio claimed that the Raiders were also set to sound out the veteran about move to the nation's capital.

“I expect them [Catalans] to table a three-year offer when they are allowed to," the scribe continued.

"And as I said from November 1 they will join the Canberra Raiders, who I suspect will also be making a play for Mitchell Pearce when clubs can formally negotiate."

With over 300-games of first-grade experience under his belt, Pearce, the son of Balmain legend Wayne, is set to remain hot property on the player market, as plenty of teams will naturally be left scrambling for talent once the date for signings comes and goes.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 21: Mitchell Pearce of the Blues looks dejected during game two of the State Of Origin series between the New South Wales Blues and the Queensland Maroons at ANZ Stadium on June 21, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Mitchell Pearce is without doubt the most established and most experienced halfback on the open-market from November 1," Riccio said in finality.

“He is contracted with the Knights next season, but nothing beyond next season and that allows him that ability to negotiate.

“It’s a watching brief Mitchell Pearce, he will become a headline act, but as I said Catalans have certainly showed interest in replacing James Maloney with Mitchell Pearce.”