Josh Addo-Carr still plans on returning to Sydney once he becomes a free agent next year as the Tigers weigh up extending a firm offer to Penrith veteran Josh Mansour.
Melbourne confirmed on Thursday that Addo-Carr would remain at the club in 2021, opting not to release him from the final year of his deal after consultation with the NSW Origin speedster about the compassionate grounds on which he first sought an early exit.
Addo-Carr had signed a heads of agreement for a four-year Tigers deal that was contingent on the Storm finding a replacement winger.
After discussions with Addo-Carr, both the Storm and the NRL's fastest man resolved for him to stay in the Victorian capital next season.
Fronting the media in NSW camp on Saturday for the first time since his short-term future had been confirmed, Addo-Carr refused to be drawn on the saga beyond still desiring a return to be near the Harbour City in 2022.
Addo-Carr steps back inside to score from a scrum
Asked if he still planned to leave the Storm for Sydney in 12 months time Addo-Carr said: "Yeah definitely," before deadbatting all other enquiries about his future.
"I don't want to take the spotlight off my teammates here, I've got a job to do on Wednesday night and it is what it is.
"I want to focus on what I've got to do here for the Blues and I'll talk to you afterwards about it."
Addo-Carr secures his double from Walker kick
Addo-Carr spent most of Saturday's NSW training run as an observer, but both he and Blues medical staff insist his bruised toe has him in no doubt for game three with a full training hit-out scheduled for Monday.
It's understood the Tigers haven't ruled out pursuing Addo-Carr again for 2022, though the heads of agreement committing him to a Concord return only applied to next season.
Melbourne would also have scope to extend Addo-Carr on an upgraded deal for 2022 and beyond, but are expecting him to return to Sydney as well at this stage.
The Tigers meanwhile have been in discussions with Mansour after he was told by Penrith that he faced starting 2021 in reserve grade behind youngsters Brian To'o and Charlie Staines.
Mansour is believed to want a three-year contract as he eyes an early departure from the Panthers.
But NRL.com understands the Tigers are only willing to consider a two-year commitment given he turns 31 in June.
The development comes after paparazzi-snapped images of former NSW Origin speedster James Roberts meeting with Tigers CEO Justin Pascoe and football manager Adam Hartigan made a splash on Friday.
Tigers coach Michael Maguire has maintained contact with Roberts since they were both at the Rabbitohs during his early NRL days, but NRL.com understands a reunion at the joint-venture is unlikely.
Roberts' second coming at South Sydney ended with an early release two weeks ago on compassionate grounds, with injuries and off-field issues cruelling his form and game time.
The Tigers have been hamstrung by a top-heavy salary cap for the first two seasons Maguire has been at the club, but have clearer air in 2022 when big earners like Josh Reynolds and Russell Packer come off-contract.