The Warriors' plans to have Kieran Foran on board for the 2017 season are reported to have received a huge setback.
The Sydney Morning Herald says that "the chances of him being registered in time to take up a contract with New Zealand Warriors are remote".
The former Manly and Parramatta star has signed a one year contract with the Warriors but there is a clause which requires him to be cleared by the NRL's integrity unit, with the deadline believed to be December.
The SMH claimed the clause is "almost certain to scupper those plans" and says it believes there is "next to no chance" of Warriors chief executive Jim Doyle being successful in persuading the NRL to okay the Foran move.
NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg said he wanted Foran to return to the game but only under the right conditions.
"We have to ensure that we understand fully the issues that he's dealing with and our integrity unit will do that over the coming months... it needs to be done appropriately so I'm not going to provide a running commentary throughout it," Greenberg said.
The questions over Foran concern his association with controversial punter Eddie Hayson and the cloud of a police investigation into league match fixing claims. There are also concerns about Foran's mental health.
Foran and his lawyer, Auckland lawyer Don Mackinnon, have sought advice from the NRL's integrity unit on what conditions need to be met, saying he would cut ties with Hayson if told to.
Foran strongly rejects any involvement in match fixing and emphasised his innocence through social media over the weekend.
Foran said:"I want to assure you, I have done nothing wrong. I took a break from the game because I felt I wasn't in the head space to uphold my commitments as a contracted footballer.
"I have been very open about my struggle with health issues and asked for time to concentrate on rebuilding my life."
Kieran Foran - now a Warrior
Date of Birth: July 13, 1990
Junior Clubs: Ellerslie Eagles, Asquith Magpies
Rep Honours: 20 Tests for Kiwis (2009-2015), NRL All Stars (2013 & 2015)
NRL Debut: Manly v Canberra, Brookvale Oval, June 21, 2009 (Round 15)
NRL Career: 156 appearances (2009-2016)
Manly: 147 appearances (2009-2015)
Parramatta: 9 appearances (2016)
NRL Points: 148 points (35 tries, 4 goals)