The Warriors have tabled Melbourne's premiership-winning halfback Jahrome Hughes a lucrative three-year offer to lead the Kiwi club from the scrumbase in 2022.
NRL.com understands a three-year deal has been made with a view of keeping Hughes in the No.7 jersey where he has transitioned to over recent seasons.
Neither the Warriors or Storm have made official comment on Hughes's contract negotiations, which are expected to come to a head in coming days as the Kiwi international weighs up his options.
Melbourne sources have indicated they are comfortable with their retention bid for Hughes, which is believed to have seen their original two-year extension offer upped to include an additional season.
The contract talks represent a deserved windfall for Hughes either way, who has risen to playmaking prominence at the Storm after struggling to cement an NRL berth during stints with the Gold Coast and North Queensland.
The Warriors have the best part of $1 million in salary cap space next year following Roger Tuivasa-Sheck's decision to link with Super Rugby's Auckland Blues in pursuit of an All Blacks jersey in 2022.
Hughes could also slot in at fullback to replace Tuivasa-Sheck having first established himself in that role at the Storm.
All Stars: Where it all began
However it's believed his preference is to continue his development as a top-tier NRL half, with the Warriors to keep their options open at the back should they land Hughes for 2022, potentially going back to market again for another custodian.
Hughes played three Tests for New Zealand in 2019 but has not lived in the Shaky Isles since moving to the Gold Coast as a teenager.
He does however have family ties across the Tasman with his father living in Wellington.
Hughes is understood to have attracted interest from Cronulla as well as the Warriors, while Brisbane also expressed early interest when he explored the market late last year.
The 26-year-old utility back was due to play for the Maori side in Saturday night's Harvey Norman All Stars in Townsville but, along with six Storm teammates, was forced to withdraw due to Victoria's recent border closures.
Bringing Hughes into the Warriors halves poses a question mark over for Kiwi teammate Kodi Nikorima, who has a 2022 contract option in his favour, and to a lesser extent Chanel Harris-Tavita, who has long been rated a long-term playmaker at the club.
Should Hughes opt to leave the Storm it would be a sizeable blow given his success alongside Ryan Papenhuyzen and Cameron Munster in Melbourne's spine last year.
With an eye to their long-term succession planning though the Storm have highly rated 18-year-old half Jonah Pezet signed until the end of 2023.
The son of former Knights recruitment manager Troy, who played 28 games for South Queensland and Parramatta in the late 1990s, is on a Storm development contract this season having been involved in Brad Fittler's Future Blues programs in recent years.