It's understood NRL superstar Kalyn Ponga has been offered a mega four-year, $4.7 million deal by the Newcastle Knights which also reportedly features an All Blacks clause to allow him to play at the 2023 Rugby World Cup.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that negotiations are underway between the Knights and Ponga to keep him in Newcastle long term and they're willing to do everything in their power to make it happen.
That includes potentially discarding his current deal at the club which runs until the end of 2022 to offer him a new, upgraded and extended contract.
"We've told the Ponga family we'd like KP to extend his time with us," Knights CEO Philip Gardner told the Sydney Morning Herald.
"We've offered him an upgraded contract for 2020-21 on the basis of an extension. The family know how much we want to keep him at Newcastle and they will come back to us with their view."
It's understood the Knights had hoped to sign Ponga until 2025 but appreciated the lure of playing for the All Blacks in the near future - an opportunity Ponga has been vocal in the past about taking - and opted for the current offer which could allow the 21-year-old to chase that dream in 2023.
"I'd be really surprised if the All Blacks weren't talking to him now, that's the kind of talent we are talking about here," Gardner said.
"He could play for the All Blacks, the Wallabies, or he may end up going to Japan or Europe. We genuinely want the best for the young man and while he wants to play rugby league, we want him to play here at Newcastle in an environment he enjoys.
"We have obviously put a deal forward that we believe is in the best interest of the club, but also in the best interest of him."