Sharks halfback Chad Townsend says he's "deep in negotiations" to re-sign beyond next year but will do what's best for his family when finalising his future.
The off-contract 28-year-old was crowned Cronulla's Player of The Year last season and is hell-bent on reaching greater heights in 2020.
The local junior wants to remain a Shark but, having just welcomed his second child in October, he understands the importance of financial security.
"I'm confident that something will happen [with the Sharks] but it is a bit of a process," Townsend told NRL.com.
"It's rugby league, so we'll see what happens. I'd love to stay and I think the club knows that but I'm at the point now where I've got to make the right decision for myself.
"I've got two kids now and a wife at home – I need to make sure that I put them first in the decision. I love playing here but it's a pretty big decision in terms of where I'm at in my career."
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Townsend said he's had a "small number of discussions" with his management about interest from other clubs.
The No.7 has left Cronulla previously, playing for the New Zealand Warriors in 2014-15 before returning to his debut club and winning a historic premiership.
Acknowledging that 2019 was "probably my best season", Townsend is hungry to step it up again as the Sharks enter the post-Paul Gallen era.
"[Playing well last season] has dead-set driven me to be even better next year," Townsend said.
"I want to continue to improve and obviously move into a bit more of a leadership role now that we've lost Gal.
"Even in the off-season, when I found myself doing some of my own training, you get into a headspace where you're by yourself and it's like, 'Let's go'.
"You can't afford to rest on your laurels and think that what happened this year is going to help you next year."
A budding media talent, Townsend took the chance to launch his Talk of the Town podcast during his recent break.
Inspired by Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson's DangerTalk show, Townsend interviews high-performers and leaders in and out of rugby league.
His guests so far have included businesswoman Sonia Diab, NRL player turned media personality Jamie Soward and former Sharks teammate Jayden Brailey.
"I've always been a pretty big listener of podcasts. I love listening to a whole range of stuff," said Townsend, who also posts regular vlogs of his life to YouTube.
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"I thought, 'Why not start now... When is the right time?'
"Right now, my number one focus is rugby league and that's where my heart and my desire and everything is. Let's make that clear.
"Whilst I do have time outside of football I want to make sure I do stuff that I enjoy and my hobbies and starting the podcast has been one of those.
"Down the track, I would like to keep it going and keep it growing. I do see it as something I'll probably do for a long time."
Townsend encouraged more NRL players to build their own brand by creating online content.
"That's what I'm all for. I think it's great and I'd urge more players to do it," he said.