The scramble for Shaun Johnson's services has begun.
Less than a week after the Warriors invited the halfback to test the market, one Australian NRL club is about to begin negotiations with Johnson's management.
The Herald understands that the Canberra Raiders are putting together an offer for the 28-year-old, which could encompass the 2019 season.
Johnson is currently contracted until the end of next season, and would need an early release from the Warriors to leave before then.
That remains an unlikely scenario, but not completely out of the question.
The Raiders have recently recruited Andrew McFadden as assistant coach to Ricky Stuart.
McFadden has had a long association with Johnson during his tenure at Mt Smart, which spanned six seasons.
The Australian was assistant under Matt Elliott, before taking on the top job for almost three seasons. He then spent two years under Stephen Kearney, before returning to Canberra for family reasons last November.
Johnson has been at the Auckland club since 2011 – and a marquee player for much of that time.
He resigned a new deal in April 2017, worth a million dollars a year, which at the time made him the highest paid player at the club.
That contract has a year to run, but, as the Herald reported last Friday, the club are in no rush to re-sign him.
They haven't made an offer, and it's believed they have told his management to test his value on the open market.
"The club are open-minded about the future and we'll talk to Shaun and his management when he gets back from overseas about the future," Warriors CEO Cameron George told the Herald last week.
"We're very open-minded and with any recruitment decisions it's about the team and the club first. But whilst we're being open-minded about the future, we're not going to be scared to make big calls on any player.
"We want to win the competition and we'll be doing everything recruitment-wise to get the best people in the club to do so.
"We are not scared about making any big calls on our roster because we want to win this competition and everyone's always under review."
Johnson's manager declined to comment when contacted by the Herald on Wednesday.