Wests Tigers coach Michael Maguire has confirmed interest in English prop Luke Thompson but insists the immediate focus is keeping his side's finals hopes alive by beating Cronulla on Saturday.
With Thompson contracted to Canterbury for two more years, the Tigers are unable to formally approach him unless the Bulldogs give the 26-year-old permission to negotiate. They are monitoring the situation.
Maguire, who began his coaching career in Super League, has enjoyed success with English forwards in the past as the four Burgess brothers - Sam, George, Tom and Luke – were in his 2014 premiership-winning squad at South Sydney.
The New Zealand Test coach has also recruited utility Jackson Hastings and centre Oliver Gildart from England for next season and Thompson would provide the enforcer the Tigers probably lack in their forward pack.
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However, whether the Tigers pursue Thompson will largely depend on whether Canterbury are prepared to let him go and the terms of any release deal.
The Bulldogs have made no official comment on Thompson's future.
"We seem to get linked to most players, which is nice, but a player of that calibre is someone that you are always going to look at," Maguire said.
"Where that finds itself, time will tell. We are pretty focused on what we are doing right now. The organisation will look at any opportunity that may come about but tomorrow is a very big game for us, and we understand where we are at."
A win against the Sharks may propel the Tigers into equal eighth place with matches remaining against Penrith and Canterbury.
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"We have got to nail this week because it won’t mean much if we don’t," Maguire said.
"We are at the business end now and the opportunities are in front of us but we have got to make sure we are focused on the now and playing your part for the team."
Captain James Tamou and former NSW Origin centre James Roberts, have been ruled out but Maguire has confidence in the young players who have helped the team to back-to-back wins over the Bulldogs and Cowboys.
Prop Stefano Utoikamanu and second-rower Shawn Blore, both 21, have shown why Maguire was so eager to recruit them, while 22-year-old playmaker Adam Doueihi has made the five-eighth role his own.
Teenage hooker Jake Simpkin is another player of the future, while centre Tommy Talau is 21 and injured fullback Daine Laurie celebrated his 22nd birthday last month.
"I think a lot of our boys now are really starting to understand what is needed to play in first grade, especially a lot of guys having debut years," Maguire said.
"You look at someone like Stefano, he has worked his way through into being a really good performer for us at the moment.
"If they continue off the back of what they have done in the last couple of weeks, they are a strong performing team. When they are on and they show their capabilities they are a wonderful team."