There are denials from both sides, but it appears only a matter of time before Cronulla secure unwanted Wests Tigers winger Beau Ryan for the next three NRL seasons.
Ryan's immediate playing future has been plunged into limbo, with a new three-year deal he signed with the Tigers earlier this year falling through due to salary cap pressures.
There was speculation the 27-year-old had signed with the Sharks, but both the club and his manager Wayne Beavis denied any deal had been struck.
"It might happen down the track but certainly not today," Beavis told AAP on Monday.
"We're talking to a few clubs."
The Sharks say they are definitely interested in versatile outside back - who along with Penrith flyer Michael Gordon would add some much-needed speed to Cronulla's ranks.
The Tigers' decision to allow Ryan to leave has surprised many in rugby league circles following a standout campaign in 2012 when he filled gaps at wing, centre and fullback.
His efforts were rewarded with selection in the Prime Minister's XIII to play Papua New Guinea in Port Moresby on Sunday.
With Tigers back-rower Chris Heighington also in talks with the Sharks, Cronulla's squad could have a very black and gold feel to it in 2013 with ex-Tigers Bryce Gibbs and Andrew Fifita already at the club.