Dylan Walker's centre switch has the former Kangaroos and NSW star in flux, but he and the Sea Eagles are hopeful the club's salary cap squeeze won't leave him left right out.
Walker is off contract and still adjusting to his new role at left centre, having switched from his favoured right edge to accommodate rising youngster Moses Suli.
With eight weeks remaining before the finals, NRL.com understands contract talks have started between Manly and Walker's management, though the 24-year-old is the first to admit his form hasn't been up to his own standards.
"We've been going pretty good as a team," Walker said leading into Sunday's clash with Parrramatta at Lottoland.
"Personally [I'm] probably not as happy as I'd like to be.
"There hasn't been a game where I've come off the field where I've been happy with my performance or even thought it was up to my standards."
Off-contract Walker not worried about his future
Of his switch to the left edge since Suli returned from injury a month ago, Walker said: "It's a little bit different. I had Chez [Daly Cherry-Evans] and Siro [Curtis Sironen, on the right] and now I have Joel [Thompson] and Cade [Cust]. Everything is a little bit different.
"I have always thought you could play both sides of the field and not pigeonhole yourself on one side. I have always tried to pride myself on playing both sides."
Domestic violence charges, of which he has been acquitted, at one point threatened to derail not only Walker's 2019 campaign, but his NRL career.
Match: Sea Eagles v Eels
Round 18 -
Venue: 4 Pines Park, Sydney
Uncertainty over Walker's future remains as a result, with talks around a contract extension stalled as police appeal his acquittal for allegedly assaulting his fiancee Alex Ivkovic late last year.
Also muddying the waters is Walker's estimated price tag around the $600,000 ballpark, marquee money matching his status as a recent Test and Origin centre when he first joined Manly in 2016.
Manly's million-dollar bids to retain Jake and Tom Trbojevic, combined with the annual seven-figure salary picked up by captain Daly Cherry-Evans cast doubt over whether Walker can expect his current deal to be matched.
Whether he would attract a similar figure at market, or is willing to take a pay cut to stay at Manly, remains to be seen.
But having made his home on the Northern Beaches he is grateful for the Sea Eagles support and hopes to stay put.
"I've been loving my time here," Walker said.
"[The club] has been really great. I'm thankful for that and grateful for that.
"They've given me the opportunity to be here and it'd be good just to stay here.
"I've bought a house here, I've lived here since 2016. I don't really go over the bridge too many times, only to go see Mum and some family.
"I'd love to stay here. I love the fans, the boys around here, the coaching staff, it's been really good."