Trent Robinson confirmed the Sydney Roosters were “a fair way down the track” in their bid to bring Sonny Bill Williams back to the club.
Williams is set to make an NRL return after the Toronto Wolfpack withdrew from the remainder of the Super League season.
The 34-year-old left the Roosters and rugby league in 2014, but is set to make a return.
Roosters head coach Robinson said a deal for Williams to return to the club was close.
“He knows our people and our style of play. Things haven’t changed, we’ve evolved that, he knows that by watching us,” he told a news conference on Friday.
“But he also feels our style of play still, he knows the people in the place, a lot of our senior players were his team-mates and he’s a Rooster and he’s going to add value in some really key areas.
“That’s a fair way down the track, but they’re the reasons why we’d like to have him here.
“Obviously with the sad news with Toronto and what’s happened with COVID and the restrictions on their season and visas and being able to go in and out of the country and crowds, it’s had a big effect on rugby league not only here but in the Northern Hemisphere so that’s opened the opportunity.”
— Sydney Roosters (@sydneyroosters) July 24, 2020
The Roosters, who have won back-to-back NRL premierships, are contending again, sitting fifth in the table.
With 10 games remaining in the Roosters’ season, Robinson said he would not expect Williams to be in action until late in the campaign.
“I think obviously travel won’t be until next week, it’s hard to get flights to fly back and then the quarantine period and then a training period,” he said.
“It is going to be towards the back end, sort of five to four games to go would be the earliest I would think.”
Williams played 45 games across two seasons in his previous stint with the Roosters, helping the club win the 2013 Grand Final.