Former York Knights loanee Franklin Pele is reportedly set to join Bradford Bulls - despite boss Mark Applegarth admitting he "wouldn't say no" to the forward's return to North Yorkshire.

The Black and Whites this morning confirmed that the prop - who spent two weeks on loan with the Knights last month - had seen his contract terminated to "pursue playing opportunities elsewhere."

But Yorkshire Live are reporting that Bradford have wasted no time in swooping for the 23-year-old, who will join former Black and Whites teammate Jayden Okunbor at Odsal.

York claimed a long-awaited first Championship win against the Bulls in April, but Eamon O'Carroll's side have stepped up their recruitment drive over recent weeks, the most recent of whom - Scotland World Cup representative Logan Bayliss-Brow - arrived just yesterday.

Pele made eight appearances for Hull after his off-season move from NRL side Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs, and dominated the headlines for all the wrong reasons after being sent off on his Betfred Super League debut.

Striking out at Hull KR forward Elliot Minchella in the sides' cross-city derby, he was subsequently handed a four-match ban - reduced to three on appeal -  and later linked up with the Knights on an initial two-week loan in search of much-needed game time.

Pele featured twice for the Knights on loan last month.Pele featured twice for the Knights on loan last month. (Image: Alan Milner/Milner Creative/York RLFC)

He featured in both York's 40-18 victory against Halifax Panthers and astonishing comeback at Swinton Lions a week later - in which he put the icing on the cake as Andrew Henderson's side scored 30 points in an incredible final 12 minutes in Manchester.

The 23-year-old made a real impact off the bench in both matches, and provided a telling contribution to drive the Knights back upfield in the set before his try, at least in the short-term fitting the bill of the 'big forward' fans have been craving since Pauli Pauli's departure to Championship rivals Doncaster.

Henderson had wished to keep both Pele, and fellow loanee Davy Litten at the club ahead of their home clash with Widnes Vikings the following weekend, but both instead returned to East Yorkshire.

In this afternoon's press conference, Applegarth said he would have been open to welcoming the New Zealand forward back to the club.

He admitted: "I wouldn't say no to him, put it that way.

"I've not met him myself personally, but I know he's had a couple of games here. I'm sure that he'll get a few offers coming his way until the end of the year.

"I'm sure that Clint [Goodchild, chairman] will be on with that because if you could get a player of his calibre until the end of the year - for example where he can put himself in the shop window and add competition to our squad - 100 per cent you'd get them in.

"The more competition you have for places, the better everyone's going to perform, it's as simple as that."