SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 21: Adam Doueihi of the Wests Tigers looks dejected during the round two NRL match between the Wests Tigers and the Sydney Roosters at Campbelltown Sports Stadium, on March 21, 2021, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Wests Tigers' coach Tim Sheens has confirmed his interest in Shaun Johnson as a possible replacement for Adam Doueihi during 2024.

Doueihi is currently recovering from the third ACL injury of his career and it's anticipated he will miss at least half of next year, although Sheens hinted that Doueihi may not play much footy at all next season.

The five-eighth will miss the remainder of 2023 at the very least, although Sheens said there were no plans to approach Johnson for the remainder of this year.

Johnson is off-contract at the end of the season, and it's understood the Warriors aren't in a rush to re-sign him despite the excellent form of the veteran during the first half of the campaign, with the Warriors quickly turning into one of the competition's biggest surprise packets.

Speaking to News Corp, Sheens said Johnson has been discussed, but also hinted that other players would be considered by the Tigers.

Shaun Johnson has been discussed but that's because we've lost Adam,” Sheens told the publication.

“We are down to two halfbacks of first-grade calibre. We aren't talking about this year but I don't think Adam will play much next year just quietly.

“Hopefully that isn't the case, but we can't count on him for next year. Whether or not he'll leave New Zealand is another thing.

“It's only one of a few discussions to be quite honest that we've got planned.”

The off-contract players list for the end of the 2023 campaign is skinny on top line talent, particularly in the halves given all of Ben Hunt, Mitchell Moses and Cameron Munster have already put pen to paper on contract extensions.

The top options remaining appear to be Kyle Flanagan, Blake Taaffe and Brad Schneider, as well as Shaun Johnson and Luke Brooks, who it's reported is being shopped around ahead of electing where he will head for 2024 - provided he doesn't remain at the joint-venture and extend what will by that time be north of 200 games.

Hinting at it being a replacement for Doueihi seems to suggest it could only be a one-year deal on the table whichever way the Tigers ultimately elect to go, and it's unclear if Johnson would relocate his family back to Australia to extend his career if only on a single season contract.

Johnson has confirmed however that the Tigers are yet to approach him.

“I haven't heard anything (from the Tigers),” Johnson said.

“It's flattering. I'm off contract so everything is an option. All I will say is I'm loving my footy right now, I'm loving being a part of this group, I'm loving being a part of this environment, and what will be will be.”

The Warriors may hold off on Johnson given their halves options for next year, which includes current five-eighth Dylan Walker, the injured Te Maire Martin, Ronald Volkman and Luke Metcalf, who has missed the first half of the season through injury.

Johnson putting pen to paper on a new deal could ultimately create a situation of too many cooks in the kitchen, although it's unclear if any of the aforementioned players would consider their options around potentially gaining an early release from the Auckland-based club if Johnson is retained.