JAMES Bentley is unlikely to return to the Bulls next season as part of the deal he has signed with St Helens.

The 20-year-old hot property joins the Saints at the end of the campaign on a three-year contract.

With 17 tries in 24 appearances, the second-rower has enjoyed a breakthrough campaign in the Championship which has brought him to top-flight attention and St Helens swooped a fortnight ago.

They may look to bring him in gradually by loaning him out for further match experience in 2018.

Bentley would love another crack at Odsal if that is the case and has asked about the possibility with his new club. But the Telegraph & Argus understands there is no loan-back agreement written within the deal.

Should Saints wish to blood him elsewhere, it is far more likely they would look to put him back in the second tier through a dual-registration link-up, rather than allowing the player to drop two levels to League One.

Bentley is set to be followed out of the Odsal exit by Colton Roche. The forward, who is out of contract at the end of the season, is poised to join Huddersfield Giants, according to reports.

Damian Sironen, another whose deal will soon run out, is also likely to attract some interest after his battling efforts in the tail-end of the relegation campaign. A couple of Super League clubs had been monitoring him before he joined the Bulls two months ago.

Contract talks with some of the current squad are set to begin this week. Chairman Andrew Chalmers has said that next year's group for League One will be a hybrid of full and part-time players.

Sam Hallas, Lee Smith and Ashley Gibson – out for the year with a ruptured bicep – are all currently under contract for 2018.