South Sydney have shot down Todd Carney's latest hope of a return to the NRL, saying the club has "no pathway" for him to play first grade.
Todd Carney ponders at Sharks training
Souths said today that it had advised its second-tier feeder club North Sydney that Carney wouldn't progress on even if the Bears were to sign him to a deal.
It follows a Fairfax report saying that Norths were interested in picking up Carney, who wants to be Sydney-based to take care of his sick mother.
"We've spoken to Norths about Todd Carney and it's our position that we will develop our young halves as opposed to bringing in a player from outside the club," Souths general manager of football Shane Richardson said.
"Players such as Adam Doueihi, Connor Tracey and Dean Hawkins are all excellent young players who we see as future players in the NRL and our efforts will be concentrated on them.
"We intend to (focus on) the players we have here at the club and our players, coaches and staff are all on board with this approach. "
Earlier this month, Carney left North Queensland-affiliated side the Northern Pride in the Queensland state league to move back to Sydney be closer to his mother, who is battling breast cancer.
Former Dally M-winner Carney has always maintained his desire to get back in the NRL after being sacked for the infamous "bubbler" incident by Cronulla in 2014.
Manly were also touted as a possible destination for Carney in the off-season and again when five-eighth Lachlan Croker went down with a season-ending injury, however coach Trent Barrett decided against it.
Carney had form even before getting let go by the Sharks - he was sacked by Canberra in 2008 for urinating on a member of the public and the Roosters got rid of him after a number of alcohol-fuelled indescretions.