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The Bulldogs will be given one final opportunity to retain strike centre Nigel Vagana, but the National Rugby League club looks to be fighting a losing battle.
Cronulla appears certain to make the Kiwi test player its second major signing - following the earlier recruitment of Sydney Roosters prop Andrew Lomu - as early as Thursday.
Vagana held talks with the Sharks on Wednesday and Cronulla officials are optimistic they have done enough to entice the league's try-happy centre to the Shire.
"Nothing has been finalised at this point in time," Cronulla general manager Steve Rogers said.
"I'm hoping it could be as early as tomorrow. There's some issues that we need to address.
"Once we get them out the way hopefully we can finalise the entire deal."
Vagana, who has also had approaches from England, wants to remain in the NRL and is not short of options.
Apart from the Sharks and Bulldogs, the Wests Tigers and Warriors have been linked with the New Zealander.
However, the race for his signature appears to be down to two clubs - the Sharks and Bulldogs.
Vagana will make a final decision after meeting with the `Dogs in the morning.
"We haven't decided," Vagana's manager Gavin Orr said tonight.
"We have to talk to Canterbury again tomorrow...and see what's the best deal.
"It could possibly be decided tomorrow."
Meanwhile, St George Illawarra chief executive Peter Doust said he had spoken to George Mimis - the manager of Mark Gasnier and Shaun Timmins - and the pair are likely to meet this weekend.
Mimis is currently in England.
"I would anticipate there would be some finality on the weekend," Doust said tonight.
The Dragons are almost certain to retain Timmins, but Mimis is expected to return from England with a lucrative offer for Gasnier from Wigan.
Canberra enjoyed mixed news on Wednesday, with prop Luke Davico re-signing for a further two years.
However, winger Jamaal Lolesi rejected an offer to stay with the club next season and will enter the open market.
Davico admitted the uncertainty over his future had taken its toll, but he was glad to finally have things settled.
"It's a major relief," said the Raiders veteran.
"We did some toing-and-froing but I'm satisfied with the outcome.
"It was upsetting and disappointing that it went on so long."
Lolesi said he had not given up hope of remaining with the Raiders.
"I'll have to test the market and see what happens now," he said.
Manly prop Aaron Cannings is expected to make a decision on his future early next week after narrowing his options down to the Sea Eagles and Parramatta.
Brisbane pair Scott Prince and Michael De Vere have delayed decisions on their future.
Prince is being chased by the Wests Tigers but wants to see who the club attracts before making a decision while De Vere wants to concentrate on the third State of Origin game and chasing a test jersey.
Canberra half Michael Monaghan met with several clubs on Wednesday including Manly while Sydney Roosters winger Eric Grothe is tipped to join Souths.
The Rabbitohs have re-signed five-eighth Owen Craigie.