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Tariq Sims will stay at St George Illawarra for the foreseeable future despite indicating he is open to linking up with Melbourne mid-season, before next year's scheduled NRL move.
Already signed with the Storm for 2023, Sims put the NRL rumour mill into overdrive on Wednesday morning when he claimed the two clubs were discussing an early release.
AAP has been told that is not the case -- the two clubs made contact after Sims' comments to clear the air and agree there was no current push for a release.
It came after the 32-year-old said he did not know if he wanted the early move to eventuate, but indicated he was open to it when pressed further by reporters.
"Yeah, that's rugby league. It's the business," Sims said.
"It's one of those things where you have to take it week by week and that's how I'm doing it.
"I'm pretty focused on just playing good, consistent, hard football.
"The clubs are talking at the moment but you'd have to ask them (if it will happen)."
The prospect of Sims moving to Melbourne mid-year has been floated externally since round one, and is not entirely out of the question.
Sims' deal with the Dragons is believed to be worth about $600,000, of which half has already been paid with the NRL financial year beginning in November.
Melbourne would need to contribute at least some of the remainder, but only if a deal can be reached between the two NRL clubs.
Any release before the August 1 deadline would theoretically free up some cap space for the Dragons, but for now he is very much needed with forward Jaydn Su'A out with a syndesmosis injury.
Sims is expected to play middle in Melbourne and while the Storm pack has been hit hard by injuries, the club received some good news on Wednesday with Tui Kamikamica's assault charge dropped.
Regardless, Sims said he had now had enough time to come to terms with the Dragons' decision not to keep him in Wollongong for next year.
One of NSW's best in State of Origin last season, Sims was told shortly after that series his contract would not be extended.
He insisted he has more years ahead in the NRL, disappointed they won't be at a club he had planned on ending his career at.
"My love towards the club hasn't changed and I don't think it ever will," Sims said.
"I still love the people in the front office, the fans.
"They're all a very big part of my life in the last six to seven years. They have been nothing but awesome to me and my family.
"I've never taken it for granted to pull on a Red V jumper."