Tevita Pangai is set to join Penrith for the final five games of the NRL season after his move to Canterbury in 2022 was finalised on Wednesday.
In a whirlwind 24 hours, the Panthers claimed to have withdrawn interest in the controversial Brisbane forward for the remainder of the season but then reignited it after it became clear James Fisher-Harris would miss valuable game time.
The Penrith prop is set to head home to Sydney for the birth of his child following Saturday's clash with the Broncos and will need to isolate for 14 days upon his return to Queensland.
The opportunity then to sign Pangai for a late-season cameo became an obvious fix for the injury-hit Panthers as they charge towards a top-two finish.
Penrith are expected to confirm the signing within the next 24 hours after a shift in salary-cap priorities at the club allowed the move.
Once his early release from the Broncos is confirmed, Pangai could then line up for the Panthers in their round-20 clash with Melbourne.
It comes as the Bulldogs confirmed a three-year-deal for the 25-year-old as their most significant middle recruit of the past few seasons.
The Tongan prop knocked back a similar offer from Wests Tigers to join Canterbury's rebuild from 2022, adding another big name to the list of incoming stars including Josh Addo-Carr and Matt Burton.
"When someone like Tevita comes on to the market, it automatically creates enormous interest amongst a number of clubs," said Bulldogs chairman John Khoury.
"We have been able to sit down with Tevita and outline our vision here at the club going forward and we were delighted when he said that he wanted to be part of what we are trying to build here.
"When you have a player of his size and power, it adds so much of an attacking threat to your pack and we believe that Tevita can really continue to grow under the guidance of Trent Barrett and the coaching staff here.
"We are delighted that our fans are going to get to see him run out in the blue and white next season and we feel that we are putting together a squad that can play the type of football that will take us to the next level moving forward."
Australian Associated Press