The impending appointment of Trent Barrett as Canterbury coach may help convince disgruntled New Zealand international Corey Harawira-Naera to stay at the Bulldogs.
Harawira-Naera is considering his future and has interest from rival clubs after the NRL appeals committee overturned the decision to deregister the contracts of the Kiwis second-rower and Canterbury teammate Jayden Okunbor over incidents during the pre-season.
Bulldogs CEO Andrew Hill and chair Lynne Anderson are due to meet with Harawira-Naera on Friday to discuss whether he returns to the squad next week or seeks a release with more than two years remaining on his contract.
Canberra, St George Illawarra, the Warriors and Wests Tigers have all been linked with Harawira-Naera if he becomes a free agent but it is understood the Bulldogs would prefer to retain him.
While an announcement on Canterbury's long-term replacement for Dean Pay isn't expected before next week, Barrett is the club's preferred choice and he was interviewed on Monday night.
If he takes charge of the Bulldogs next season, it may have an influence on Harawira-Naera's decision as the 25-year-old began his playing career under Barrett at Penrith in 2014.
At the time Barrett was coach of the Panthers' under 20s team and Harawira-Naera was playing fullback in a team which included Canterbury second-rower Chris Smith and hooker Sione Katoa, Parramatta centre Waqa Blake and Penrith trio Brent Naden, James Fisher-Harris and Moses Leota.
Dragons v Bulldogs - Round 10
Rival clubs are waiting on the outcome of Harawira-Naera's meeting with the Bulldogs before making any formal approach for his services and expect him to remain at Belmore.
Harawira-Naera and Okunbor are yet to play this season after having their registrations cancelled by the NRL on April 1 over the pair's involvement with school girls they met while in Port Macquarie for a pre-season trial.
Bulldogs officials were furious at the pair's behaviour, which while not illegal breached the club's and NRL's codes of conduct.
However, they were reinstated on Monday after the NRL appeals committee revised the penalty against Harawira-Naera to a 10-match ban and $15,000 fine, while Okunbor received a 14-match suspension and $22,500 fine, as well as mandatory counselling or community service.
Senior Canterbury players have said the pair would be welcomed back.
"From a playing point of view, and all the players are in agreeance, we want them back," veteran prop Aidan Tolman said.
"For us as players, if the NRL believes they have done their time and that is the penalty warranted then we want them back here and playing."
Star five-eighth Kieran Foran said: "It would be great to have them back. They have served their time. They were teammates of ours, they are team-mates of ours, so they would certainly be welcome back from my point of view."
If he stays, Harawira-Naera would be available for selection by interim coach Steve Georgallis next week but it is expected he would need longer before he is ready to play.