Warriors coach Stephen Kearney is confident the club can hang on to Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, but admits that the situation needs to be resolved "sooner rather than later."
The West Tigers were added to the list of potential suitors for Tuivasa-Sheck on Thursday, with the Sydney club seeing the Kiwis fullback as a prime replacement for James Tedesco.
The Rabbitohs have also been linked with the Warriors custodian, while at least three other NRL clubs are in the mix should Tuivasa-Sheck become available.
There is also the lure of a possible All Blacks jersey, with New Zealand Rugby keen to entice the 24-year-old to switch codes.
Tuivasa-Sheck has had a difficult time in Auckland, especially as captain of a struggling team last year.
It seems a hard sell to keep him at Mt Smart beyond 2018, but Kearney believes it can be done.
"We have put our best foot forward," Kearney told the Herald. "Roger wants what we all want in the organisation. He understands where we are trying to go and what we are trying to do. He wants to be a part of that..he wants to be a catalyst to make that happen. That's the drive I see in Roger."
Last year Shaun Johnson's contract renewal wasn't confirmed until late April, which led to speculation about his future dominating the opening weeks of the season. While this is a slightly different situation (as with Johnson both parties needed to be convinced), Kearney hopes there won't be a repeat.
"I think with both parties it's something we want sorted out sooner rather than later, said Kearney. "It's not something he wants dragging on and that suits us too. It's a significant investment and whatever happens we need to be in a position where we can, either way, make the next play ourselves. I'm sure it will be sorted out fairly soon."
Kearney also denied that the ongoing discussion around Tuivasa-Sheck was a disruption to the focus of his team.
"It's not a distraction because it's part of the business," said Kearney. "It was the same issue last year with Shaun, it will be the same issue next year with someone else.
"It's been around for long enough. You (the media) make it a distraction because you keep bringing it up. From our point of view we get on business. We are confident where things are at with it and I'm sure things will work out."
The Warriors have their first pre-season trial next week, facing the Storm in Rotorua. It will be a de-powered Melbourne side — most of their top guns will be away at the World Club Challenge in England — while the Warriors team will be a mix of new faces and young players.
Peta Hiku and Anthony Gelling are expected to front, along with Titans' recruits Agnatius Paasi and Leivaha Pulu. Kearney also confirmed that former schoolboy star Hayze Perham will turn out in his home city.
The Warriors' second trial is against the Titans on February 24 on Sunshine Coast, where Kearney is expected to field his shadow XIII ahead of round one against the Rabbitohs in Perth.