Ben Barba is set to return to the NRL in 2019 with the North Queensland Cowboys.
News Corp reported on Thursday that the fullback has agreed to a one-year deal with the Cowboys to revive his Telstra Premiership career.
NRL.com understands the contract has not been signed and the Cowboys have made no official announcement as to whether Barba would be lining up for them next year.
Barba must secure a release from his contract with Super League club St Helens before he can sign with the Cowboys. It's understood North Queensland are in talks with St Helens about a transfer fee for the 29-year-old.
The former Dally M Medal winner has played strongly this year after parting ways with Cronulla following his 12-game suspension for testing positive to recreational drugs for a second time during the Sharks' 2016 premiership celebrations.
As per any NRL contract, Barba would have to be deemed fit and proper before being registered for an NRL return. CEO Todd Greenberg has indicated previously that he would consider such a push on its merits.
Barba first rose to prominence with Canterbury and spent a season with Brisbane before starring in Cronulla’s historic surge to the club's first premiership.
Earlier in 2018, Barba told NRL.com of his wish to return to the NRL.