HOBART, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 26: Tarryn Thomas of the Kangaroos looks on during the 2021 AFL Round 15 match between the North Melbourne Kangaroos and the Gold Coast Suns at Blundstone Arena on June 26, 2021 in Hobart, Australia. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

North Melbourne view versatile midfielder Tarryn as an "integral part of our future", while rival clubs are said to be watching the contracted Kangaroo closely.

Thomas has previously been floated as a trade target for other clubs in recent years, with the Suns linked to the Tasmanian as recently as 2022.

The 23-year-old recommitted to the Roos the same year, signing a two-year deal before the season got underway before Gold Coast expressed a level of interest in the subsequent off-season. 

Thomas has remained as a name potentially on the radar of rivals this year despite being contracted at Arden Street for another 12 months, with questions raised over the youngster's future with the Roos following a string of off-field indiscretions.

The former first-round pick spent an extended period away from the club due to investigations into ongoing court matters and serious allegations made against Thomas.

The North Melbourne Next Generation Academy graduate would eventually make his return in Round 12 following a spell with the Kanagroos' VFL program, with Thomas playing nine successive games at AFL level since his comeback.

Able to play a multitude of roles, Thomas has built a promising campaign as a utility option for North Melbourne to rely on, with rivals said to be keeping a close eye on his form.

According to AFL reporter Cal Twomey, Thomas has gained some onlookers from rival clubs across this season.

"(Thomas) is the big one for them," Twomey said of North Melbourne's list plans on Gettable.

"He's playing some reasonable footy for them since returning to the senior side.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 07: Aaron Hall and Tarryn Thomas of the Kangaroos look dejected after losing the round 21 AFL match between Richmond Tigers and North Melbourne Kangaroos at Melbourne Cricket Ground on August 07, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

"There's been clubs watching him, there's absolutely no doubt about that, to consume and see what his form is like.

"He's got a year to go on his contract next year, which is at a good (price) rate as well. So he's probably not in a position where a club is going to rip him out (of North Melbourne) on a longer-term deal.

"It's probably going to be an opportunity-based decision for him. Clearly he's got that capacity at North Melbourne to go and be a big part in what they're building.

"I don't think he's putting up his hand to leave at this point. Whether that changes over the next month or if a suitor comes for him, that could sway the decision."

North Melbourne list manager Brady Rawlings was quizzed on Thomas' future, denying any unrest from the young onballer in regard to his contract.

Rawlings told Gettable the club has been thrilled with how Thomas has successfully slotted back into the senior side, stressing the promising Roo is seemingly happy with life in blue and white.

"Tarryn's a pretty special player," Rawkling He's been tagged at times this year and on the weekend he had 10 clearances as a mid. He can go forward and hit the scoreboard and played back at the start of the year.

"He's another one of those 25 (year old) and unders, he's contracted for us and with the way he's playing he seems pretty happy to me.

"We see him being an integral part of our future."

Adding Thomas into the trade mix for North Melbourne would only make the club's already busy off-season plans more frantic, with Rawlings needing to confirm the future of free agent Ben McKay while also working with the AFL on potentially gaining priority access to an additional early draft selection.

GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 08: Tarryn Thomas of the Kangaroos looks to kick during the round 12 AFL match between the Gold Coast Suns and the North Melbourne Kangaroos at Metricon Stadium on June 08, 2019 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Jono Searle/AFL Photos/Getty Images)

If McKay was to depart through free agency, the Roos could gain another high-value selection through compensation.

The Roos are also working through their current crop of off-contract players after the recent retirements of Ben Cunnington, Jack Ziebell and Aaron Hall, with veteran ruckman Todd Goldstein yet to receive a new deal despite holding hopes to play on in 2024.

Kayne Turner, Aidan Bonar, Daniel Howe, Liam Shiels and Lachie Young, among others, are also off-contract as the end of the season nears.