MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 14: Dale Finucane of the Storm runs out during the round one NRL match between the Melbourne Storm and the Brisbane Broncos at AAMI Park on March 14, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

A heavily front-ended deal could have been the difference in Dale Finucane's decision to join Cronulla from next season.

The 29-year-old was not short on bidders as he came toward the end of his contract at the Storm, with the Sharks, Dragons, Tigers, Cowboys and Titans all reportedly having three-year deals tabled to the veteran forward.

As negotiations narrowed, it was understood that Finucane's party were keen to land a four-term contract that would take him to the 2025 season, a request that some club weren't keen to budge on.

However, as revealed by The Sydney Morning Heraldthe Sharks were able to get creative in their discussions and bump an extra year onto their offering to the Blues representative.

According to The Herald's report, Finucane's salary for the fourth and final year of his contract with the Shire club will land close to $300,000 of his reported $2.5 million deal with the Sharks.

The contract will likely take Finucane to the end of his already illustrious career, having been key to the Storm's successes since arriving from Canterbury at the end of the 2014 season.

GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 25: Dale Finucane of the Storm is tackled during the round 24 NRL match between the Gold Coast Titans and the Melbourne Storm at Cbus Super Stadium on August 25, 2018 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

The highly-respected forward will now return to his home state from 2022, joining Melbourne teammate Nicho Hynes and injured Dragons skipper Cameron McInnes at Cronulla next season.

The trio will arrive to the Shire alongside incoming senior coach Craig Fitzgibbon, who has been instrumental in luring the key recruits to the club.

Fitzgibbon has also led an impressive retention drive within the club already, having Toby Rudolf, Will Kennedy, Matt MoylanSiosifa Talakai, Connor Tracey and Braydon Trindall ink new deals this year.