Pearce’s role at the Bondi club became untenable for the Premiership-winner after the signing of Cooper Cronk to a two-year deal.

And now that he’s on the market, several clubs are fighting for his signature.

Manly appear to be in the box seat after releasing five-eighth Blake Green to the Warriors on Monday despite Sea Eagles chairman Lyall Gorman labelling the simultaneous release of Pearce and Green a “coincidence”.

Cronulla and Brisbane are also chasing the No.7, however, Johns, a former Knights legend, believes a move to the Hunter would be a positive move for both parties after Newcastle confirmed their interest in the NSW halfback.   

"If he goes to a team like the Knights where he will be a senior player with a lot of impressionable younger players who look at him for inspiration, that's something that can make you feel real real good inside, and I think that's something he hasn't felt for a long time,” Johns said on the Triple M Grill Team.

"I'd love him to go to Newcastle... I just know how good it will be for Mitchell.

“When you start winning up there, it is unbelievable. On top of that Newcastle will pay him very well and the city will embrace him.

“To actually sign at a club like Newcastle where everyone watches and says they know what a difference he will make, I think people will go "good on you mate".

Mark Geyer was in agreeance with Johns and said Pearce would benefit from change after the Roosters signed Cronk behind his back.

"I think at 28 he needs a bit more stimulation in his life. I think the stimulation will come from going to a team that needs him more than anybody,” Geyer said.