Wests Tigers and Penrith are zeroing in on announcing Michael Maguire and Ivan Cleary as their new coaches early next week as the NRL's coaching carousel clicks into top gear.
In the biggest upheaval of its kind in the league's history, five clubs will likely have confirmed new coaches within a fortnight with extended fallout to follow.
It's understood Cleary was finalising a deal to join the Panthers on Friday afternoon and is expected to be released by the Tigers next week.
That will come as the Tigers themselves unveil premiership-winning coach Maguire as their new mentor, who is already believed to have agreed to terms.
The moves mean Cleary will be back at his old club well before November 12, when the main group assemble for the first day of pre-season training.
Son Nathan will unlikely take part as he prepares to go under the knife next Friday for minor ankle surgery.
Meanwhile Maguire will also likely be back from the Kiwis' three-Test tour of England in time for the Tigers' first main day of training on November 15.
Faced with the prospect of Cleary wanting to join his son at Penrith, Maguire's appointment will meet Tigers chief executive Justin Pascoe's desire to deliver a credentialed coach as his replacement.
Known for his hard edge and discipline, Maguire turned South Sydney from perennial battlers to regular finalists in his four years at club, including capturing their drought-breaking 2014 title.
He will have a similar task ahead of him at the Tigers, who have the longest finals drought of any club - having not reached the playoffs since 2011.
Maguire established himself as front-runner for the Tigers' role in the past fortnight, with the joint-venture having previously considered Wayne Bennett their first option.
Bennett will now join the Rabbitohs by 2020 after having been announced as Anthony Seibold's replacement, with the latter expected to also be announced as the Brisbane's new coach.
The question then remains whether their swap will occur earlier, despite Bennett claiming he plans to stay with Brisbane in 2019 unless the club's board decides otherwise.
Meanwhile the fifth club in the week's merry-go-round, Manly, were no closer to a resolution on former coach Trent Barrett's exit from the club on Friday after appointing Des Hasler as his replacement on Monday.
Barrett's feud with Sea Eagles management has been going on for more than three months, after he tendered 12 months' notice of resignation in July.
© AAP 2018