The Bulldogs are not giving up on David Klemmer without a fight, hoping they'll convince him to stay at Belmore and see out the remaining two years of his contract.
The 24-year-old has been linked with the Newcastle Knights for next season even though he is signed with the Bulldogs until the end of 2020.
But Canterbury-Bankstown are realists and over several meetings with Klemmer and new manager Isaac Moses - including one on Tuesday - the club knows the Test forward is keen to start afresh.
It's why the Bulldogs have given Klemmer permission to talk with the Knights. At present he does not have permission to speak with any other clubs.
NRL.com understands there have been conversations between Bulldogs CEO Andrew Hill and Knights new director of football Brian Canavan, the former NRL Head of Football.
The Bulldogs have no anti-tampering concerns because they have agreed to Klemmer speaking with the Knights.
Bulldogs CEO hoping to keep Klemmer
But this shouldn't be misinterpreted as the Bulldogs trying to off-load the NSW Origin prop.
They will not release Klemmer until they have another forward of his calibre lined up as a replacement.
Klemmer is also on a lot more money than the $400,000-a-year mentioned in some reports. It's understood there are other personal issues involved as well as what his pay packet might look like with the Knights.
The Bulldogs' recruitment committee, which includes former Test and premiership-winning coach Chris Anderson, is already looking at a list of candidates.
We've made it clear we want him [Klemmer] to stay at our clubBulldogs CEO Andrew Hill
But they expect others to come out of the woodwork after five NRL clubs changed their head coach over the 10 days. That is expected to shake-up the player market.
The Bulldogs want to protect their long-term interests – success on the field – in combination with doing the right thing by Klemmer, who's been a stand-out player for them since making his NRL debut in 2013.
"Dave's been at our club for nearly a decade. He's a much-valued member of our club," Hill told NRL.com on Tuesday.
"We've made it clear we want him to stay at our club and we're prepared to work with him and support him in whatever way we can."
Because of his Test duties with Australia against New Zealand and Tonga, Klemmer is not due back at Bulldogs training until the end of November. If he does go to the Knights it will happen before he's expected back at Belmore.
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The rest of the 2019 squad is expected back for pre-season training on Thursday.
On Tuesday, new recruits Jack Cogger (Knights), Christian Crichton (Panthers), Corey Harawira-Naera (Panthers), Nick Meaney (Knights), James Roumanos (Sharks) and Sauaso Sue (Tigers) were welcomed to the club by coach Dean Pay and Chairwoman Lynne Anderson during an induction session.