Brisbane Broncos will have to fight hard to keep Corey Oates with Melbourne Storm and South Sydney circling the frustrated winger.
Currently the big flyer looks likely to leave Red Hill at season’s end.
Seven News understands several rival clubs have flagged interest in Oates as a backrower with the Storm and Rabbitohs leading the pack.
The Rabbitohs have lost backrower Angus Crichton while the Storm could struggle to keep Felise Kaufusi who is being chased hard by several clubs.
The Broncos have put negotiations with Oates on hold for a month to assess what offer they can put forward.
Oates, 23, wants to stay in Brisbane but also wants to play in the backrow.
He enjoys his football more in the pack and also believes he will have a greater chance at a big money contract and representative honours.
Right now Wayne Bennett sees Oates, 23, purely as a winger and Brisbane do not pay wingers the big money.
Brisbane already have back row depth with Matt Gillett and Alex Glenn entrenched in the starting pack and classy youngster Jaydn Su’A emerging.
So if Oates decides to stay it will be as a moderately paid winger.
That won’t happen.
"I think it's (contract) going to be a big one - a big decision of mine, for my career,” Oates told Seven News.
“It’s not something I want to think about right now too much.
“Certainly not after our performance the other night.”
Oates grew up playing on the forward edge and scored a decisive try in that position against a Bennett-coached Newcastle Knights team in 2014.
It was a try that caused Bennett to privately marvel at Oates’ line-running ability.
The big question is how much money clubs like Rabbitohs and Storm are willing to offer Oates as a project backrower.
He will take 18 months to adjust to his new role but also won’t cost what the Kaufusi’s and Crichton’s do.
Oates played the trials in the backrow but Wayne Bennett considers him too valuable as a winger to experiment with him this season.
He will get time in the pack if he’s isn’t picked for Origin.
Oates will give the Broncos every chance to match any offer but as we saw with Ben Hunt, money and opportunity talks.