South Sydney winger Alex Johnston is heartbroken at the thought of leaving but has accepted this may be his last NRL season at the club.
The 25-year-old Souths junior has been in contract negotiations for months but appears resigned to finding a deal elsewhere to continue his NRL career beyond 2020.
Salary cap limitations are believed to be behind the road block, and after 135 games for Souths, Johnson is coming to grips with the reality.
"I've always wanted to be a one-club man, obviously there's just nothing there for me at the moment and I'm having to look elsewhere," he said.
"It's heartbreaking but I've got my head around it now.
"Wherever I end up I'm going to play my best footy and just finish my career strong."
So far this season Johnson has been one of the Souths' most consistent performers and has furthered his reputation as one of the NRL's best finishers.
In 13 games he has scored 10 tries, including a hat-trick against St George Illawarra in round 12.
Although he started the year off the bench, injuries have helped him back into the side onto the wing, while he replaced star Latrell Mitchell at fullback for two matches recently.
With seven games to go in the season he is hoping a deal can be finalised soon.
"Always hopeful (to stay at Souths) but at the end of the day I'm trying to put that to the side now, my manager is onto it. There's a lot of interest and something might happen soon," he said.
"I'm healthy at the moment which is a plus and just trying to put my best foot forward, get the ball in my hands in open field and show what I can do."
And while his talent on the football field is obvious, he's a surprising creative in his spare time.
Johnson is working on a script for a rugby league movie that he hasn't yet presented to Hollywood actor-cum-club owner Russell Crowe, but he will once it's finished.
He's also writing a book.
"It's a rugby league movie ... I don't want to give too much in case someone steals the idea but I've got to get into talks with someone about it and hopefully get a movie out of it," he said.
"I want to get a completed script and something that a Hollywood superstar would look at and not laugh at. I might perfect it first."
Australian Associated Press