Todd Carney's long-running legal stoush with NRL premiers Cronulla over his dismissal from the Sharks could be dealt with by Wednesday.
A favourable decision for Carney would clear the way for the playmaker to be placed on the NRL market in the hope of finding a club for the 2017 season, according to News Corp Australia.
It's believed St George Illawarra and Melbourne are in the mix for Carney should the New South Wales Supreme Court rule he was wrongly sacked by Cronulla in 2014 over his infamous "bubbler" incident.
"He will be playing in the NRL next year," a source close to Carney said. "Hopefully the path will be cleared this week."
The 30-year-old recently returned to Australia from France where he was playing in the Super League for Catalans.
Carney and the Sharks were forced into mediation by the Supreme Court in February to resolve his claim of around A$2.4 million but they failed to settle the matter by the May 27 deadline.
The half won the opening round of his fight against the Sharks when the NRL appeals committee ruled he was wrongly dismissed by Cronulla because the club failed to follow due process before sacking him.
Under the rules, Carney was entitled to plead his case before the Cronulla board and he was not given that opportunity.
Meanwhile, Kangaroos veteran Sam Thaiday admits he fears for his place in coach Mal Meninga's squad for the Four Nations clash against the Kiwis.
The 31-year-old, who's been a staple of the Australia side since 2009, has featured off the bench in Meninga's games in charge.
But with the emergence of exciting back-rowers Tyson Frizell and Jake Trbojevic - both try-scorers in the 54-12 win over Scotland on Saturday - in addition to Trent Merrin and Boyd Cordner, he concedes his place in the side is far from guaranteed.
"Being older, I am feeling pressure more," Thaiday said. "We have these young, fresh-faced kids coming through and no one's position in the team is secure unless you're [captain] Cameron Smith."
He also welcomed Meninga's attempts to stir the pot ahead of the clash against England on November 12 with a sensational attack on Wayne Bennett in his Courier Mail newspaper column on Friday.
"That was good, it stirs things up ahead of the game in a couple of weeks," he said. "It'll be quite funny to see what the talk is between the two. Hopefully they can send him back with his tail between his legs."