The NRL transfer market is preparing to heat up once again following the completion of the finals series, with a number of players either looking to sign new deals, or to find a new home.

One in the latter camp is reportedly Cronulla Sharks utility Connor Tracey, who wants to make an exit from the Shire.

It has been revealed by News Corp's Brent Read that Tracey has in fact asked for a release "a few times" from the Sharks, and that the St George Illawarra Dragons' incoming coach Shane Flanagan is showing considerable interest in the utility.

Tracey has been used virtually everywhere in the backline for the Sharks and shapes as a strong option for a club like the Dragons.

Seemingly driving his request for a release from the Sharks is the fact he has, at times, struggled to find consistent playing time, making just ten appearances in 2023. He is stuck behind the likes of Ronaldo Mutlialo and Sione Katoa on the wing, Siosifa Talakai and Jesse Ramien in the centres, and Braydon Trindall and Nicho Hynes in the centres at the Sharks.

He finished playing 2023 at fullback and found strong form, but will be back behind William Kennedy at the start of 2024.

Given he has a year to go on his deal at the Sharks, it's believed the club are digging their heels in, but Tracey is almost a certainty to be elsehwere in 2025.

“He's a guy that we've been following for a while.. there are some clubs circling him,” Read told Triple M.

“St. George Illawarra and Shane Flanagan is one of them and probably the big one. He's (Tracey) now got permission to talk to rival clubs about 2025 as he has a year to go on his deal.

“He's asked for a release a few times now from the Sharks but Cronulla are digging in their heels saying, ‘no you aren't going to go, we are going to keep you next year' but he's now got permission to speak to rival clubs for 2025.

“I'd be stunned if he's not at the Dragons.

“I think the other reason why Cronulla are reluctant to let him leave is because they have him in the right price. They aren't paying him the earth. If he was to test the open market, he'd get a pretty healthy pay rise.”

Tracey, who debuted in 2019 with the South Sydney Rabbitohs, has made 66 NRL appearances.