The NRL says Todd Carney must prove he's a fit and proper person before being allowed to sign with Manly, who have expressed interest in the troubled playmaker.
Todd Carney must prove to the NRL he is reformed if he hopes to take up a career lifeline with Manly.
The controversial former Dally M winner has been linked with a return to the NRL after Sea Eagles coach Trent Barrett said the club was considering him as a possible answer to their halves crisis.
Carney has signed with Cairns-based Queensland Cup club the Northern Pride in a bid to resurrect his career, however it's been suggested he could return to top flight football as early as 2018.
The NRL said 31-year-old Carney - who was previously sacked from Canberra, let go by Sydney Roosters and sacked by Cronulla following off-field incidents, often alcohol-related - must prove he is a changed man.
"Any club seeking to register a contract for Todd would need to demonstrate that he is fit and proper to be part of the NRL," an NRL spokesman said.
Carney has a rap sheet dating back to his time at the Raiders when he was sacked after repeated drink driving offences including being handed a suspended jail sentence after leading police on a chase before fleeing.
After resurrecting his career at the Roosters, including winning the 2010 Dally M and leading the club to the grand final, he was once again let go for alcohol-related incidents including being charged with low-range drink driving.
The final straw came in September 2011 when he was seen drinking while on an alcohol ban.
Cronulla cut him loose in 2014 after a photo of him urinating towards his mouth in a pub toilet circulated on social media.
He subsequently played with Catalans Dragons and Salford in France and England.
The Sea Eagles are desperate for a playmaking partner for Daly Cherry-Evans after releasing Blake Green to the Warriors and missing out on Mitchell Pearce.
Canberra recruit Lachlan Croker, ex-Rooster Jackson Hastings and Cameron Cullen shape as Barrett's halves options currently.
The Sea Eagles have been linked with Newcastle halves Brock Lamb and Trent Hodkinson who appear set to be shunted out of the Knights' best 17 following the arrival of Pearce.
Barrett told News Corp the club had not made contact with Carney however "will keep our eye on him".