The Manly Sea Eagles are adamant they're still involved in "meaningful discussions" with Mitchell Pearce.
Once seen as the front runner for the New South Wales half's signature, the Sea Eagles are now competing with Newcastle and Cronulla.
The Melbourne Storm showed some interest, but had to pull out due to salary cap constraints.
Newcastle can offer the most lucrative contract of the remaining trio, with the bonus of playing alongside former Sydney Roosters teammates Aidan Guerra, Connor Watson and Shaun Kenny-Dowall.
Mitchell Pearce left the Sydney Roosters after the NRL franchise signed Cooper Cronk from Melbourne.