While Leilua remains contracted at Concord until the cessation of the 2022 season, the 25-year-old will join North Queensland at the completion of his current deal after inking a fresh agreement with the Townsville team.
As reported on Thursday, Leilua had emphatically ended the speculation surrounding his future by shaking hands on a contract that will see him move north for the next three seasons.
Still, recent revelations claim that the Todd Payten led team were not prepared to wait for an entire season to land the Samoan international and had engaged in conversations with Wests surrounding a straight trade to secure their prized pick earlier than expected.
According to reports from The Daily Telegraph, the Cowboys were said to have tabled former Dragon Reece Robson as their offer for Leilua, however, this direct swap was said to be swiftly turned down by the Tigers.
Although these initial conversations have currently met an impasse, the genial relationship between Payten and both the Tigers head of football Tim Sheens as well as recruitment manager Warren McDonnell is set to keep lines of discussion open.
While the offer for Robson to return to Sydney was rebuked, the door does remain open for a shift south given recent claims that the 23-year-old has been shopped to Parramatta as one of three concrete options to replace the Belmore bound Reed Mahoney.
Each of these potential moves has been made despite Robson holding a contract with the Cowboys until the end of the 2023 season.
It is not yet known whether the Cowboys will stump up a secondary proposal or whether the Michael Maguire led Tigers will indeed be willing to part with Leilua under any circumstances.