MANLY Sea Eagles forward Joel Thompson says moving to Super League provides a "great opportunity" amid reports he is to join Saints in 2021.

The 31-year-old second-rower has been granted a release from the final year of his contract to allow a deal to go ahead, though Saints are yet to confirm the move.

Reports from Australia have said Thompson has been offered a longer contract at the Totally Wicked Stadium.

This comes hot on the heels of Saints losing Test prop Luke Thompson to Canterbury Bulldogs, though the Aussie namesake is not a like-for-like replacement.

Joel Thompson, who reportedly came close to signing with Hull FC last year, has also had spells with Canberra Raiders (2008-13) and St George Illawarra Dragons (2014-17) before joining the Sea Eagles in 2018 in a 225-game first-grade career so far.

Since arriving at Manly he has made 51 appearances.

He has been a regular representative of the Indigenous All Stars team, captaining the side earlier this year.

Thompson said to the Manly Sea Eagles club website that he is making a move to Super League for next year, although the club has yet to be confirmed.

He said the decision offers a great opportunity for him and his family.

"My wife's a schoolteacher, it's an opportunity for her to teach over there and especially for my girls and for myself," said Thompson.

"I always wanted to go and have a crack over there. I love watching that type of footy and I've got the experience over there with the Dragons against Warrington one year, I just thought I can really see myself over there.

"I'm looking forward to it, the challenges and everything that comes with it, the cold. It's going to be great, not just for myself but also my family."

Thompson added: "Every decision I make is for not just me but my family. The opportunity to live in another part of the world and the experiences that that brings with it is something that's pretty special.

"I won't get the opportunity again in life so it's going to be good and just the new challenges, to test myself, playing at different stadiums against different teams.

"That's what it's all about and to earn the respect of my teammates and the fans and the players, I like them tests and I'm looking forward to doing that.

"I feel like the time is right now to go over there and play some quality football and experience the Super League."