The salary cap squeeze at Belmore means Moses Mbye will be at Wests Tigers in 2019 but his Bulldogs teammates are adamant the playmaker will see out the season at Canterbury.
The Tigers have made no secret of their desire to lure Mbye to Concord early as they chase their first finals appearance in seven seasons.
Tigers coach Ivan Cleary told ABC Grandstand last weekend the club could accommodate the move financially for this season, but admitted it was up to Mbye and the Bulldogs to organise an early release.
Bulldogs centre Will Hopoate suggested Mbye's initial discussions with teammates indicated he'll be around for the rest of 2018 to try and help his team recover from a horror first half of the season which has seen them win just three of 12 matches.
"That's a decision in Moey's hands but from what we know his time at the Tigers begins in 2019," Hopoate said on Tuesday.
"Moey addressed us as a team and he told us personally before he made it all official in the media. That's the world rugby league is, players come and go.
"He's told us all his effort and energy is into playing for Canterbury for the remainder of the season.
"We're going to need him at the back end of this season."
Bulldogs rookie Rhyse Martin also expects 24-year-old Mbye to see out the year at Belmore before moving to the joint venture on a lucrative four-year deal.
"As far as I know he's here for the rest of the year," Martin said.
"We don't want Moses to go but we're happy for him and he said he's going to do his best for the rest of the year and no doubt he will.
"We all understand what you have to do sometimes but we're supportive. It would have been a hard decision for him, he's been here since a young kid."
Martin's own future is undecided beyond this season after a breakout month that has included an NRL debut.
The 25-year-old joined the Bulldogs in 2016 from Townsville and has looked comfortable in the forward pack despite limited opportunities.
"It would make it a lot easier [to stay]," Martin said. "I love the club and it's been a great place for me over the past two years. I'm trying to focus on playing in the NRL and giving myself the best opportunity.
"I haven't really thought about [my future]. The last month for me has been about trying to perform and staying up there. I forgot about being off contract all together to be honest."