Wigan coach Adrian Lam has confirmed his club are in talks to bring George Williams back to the club.
The 26-year-old England half-back is expected to be in big demand after he was surprisingly released with immediate effect by his NRL club Canberra Raiders on Tuesday.
Williams, who was less than halfway through his three-year contract with the Raiders, wants to return to England for personal reasons, with his partner Charlotte expecting their first child later in the year.
Lam said: “It’s a live situation with Canberra at the moment. We don’t know exactly what’s unfolded or how it’s got to where it’s at.
“There’s talk that he’s going to go immediately. Obviously with a player of George’s calibre, you want him at Wigan.
“At the moment that’s in the hands of (football director) Kris Radlinksi and (chairman) Ian Lenagan and I’m sure they’ll do their bit to try and get him involved.
“The club is in contact with his manager, they have touched base with him, but there’s plenty of water that needs to pass under the bridge.”
Warrington and Leeds are also thought to be keen on the player but Lam is confident his club are in pole position, having gained first refusal on his services as part of the deal agreed when in allowing him to move to Australia.
They also have space on their salary cap after releasing George Burgess at the start of the season and will be permitted to count only £75,000 of his wages on the cap because he is a club-trained player.
Lam also believes the lure of returning to his hometown club, which players like Sam Tomkins, Lee Mossop and Joe Burgess have done in the past, also counts in Wigan’s favour.
Lam added: “He’s a Wigan junior, he’s had a lot of success here and all his friends are here.
“No doubt over the next week or so things will become a little bit clearer. Fingers crossed it will work out.”
Meanwhile, ambitious Championship club Newcastle Thunder have made an audacious bid to sign the player on a short-term deal.