Cronulla coach Shane Flanagan has been in regular contact with Luke Lewis' manager, but he denies having ever discussed bringing the NSW Origin back-rower to the Sharks in 2013.
Lewis on Monday announced he would be leaving Penrith at the end of the NRL season to pursue a fresh challenge, with the Sharks quickly anointed as favourites to secure his prized signature.
But while Flanagan talks regularly with Lewis' manager Greg Willett - who also doubles as the Sharks coach's accountant - he said the want-away Panther had never been a topic of conversation.
"I heard that all this afternoon and of course we'd be interested," Flanagan said of Lewis.
"I have made no contact.
"I see his manager regularly, his offices are just up the road here where we go quite often - he does some accounting and tax and things for me but we've definitely not spoken to Luke Lewis."
Lewis was spotted with former Penrith teammate and now Sharks backrower Wade Graham in the Cronulla area on the weekend, but Graham denied there was sinister to their get-together.
"He had the weekend off and we just caught up for a coffee as mates do," Graham said.
"Me and Lewie grew up together so we're mates before football and he's got to do what's best for his family football wise.
"If that ends up here it's here but if it ends up somewhere else as a mate I'll wish him all the best."I think 15 NRL sides would love to have him in their team."