Furner was unveiled to the media on Tuesday morning having just flown in from Sydney.
Leeds have already recruited Tonga star Konrad Hurrell from the NRL as a ‘marquee’ signing and director of rugby Kevin Sinfield said today they do hope to announce a second ‘marquee’ player.
New South Wales State of Origin star Merrin, 29, remains at Penrith Panthers but speculation has been rife that a deal will be done to bring him to Emerald Headingley.
Furner said: “There’s interest. And I think there’s interest on both sides. But there’s no contract been signed - though there’s obviously been talks.
“We’re looking at bringing in world-class players if we can. That’s our aim. Probably two to help those kids come through.
“There’s some great players here coming through the Academy as you saw with them getting to the Academy final against Wigan.
“I’m looking forward to getting going. It’s been five years since I was last a head coach and I can’t wait to get going, meet the players and get to know them.”