Des Hasler is on the verge of making a comeback to Manly as the Sea Eagles' coaching debacle takes another shock twist.
It's been widely reported Hasler's management have entered into negotiations with the NRL club to return to the northern beaches just more than eight years after his acrimonious departure.
Assistant John Cartwright was thought to be the frontrunner to take over from Trent Barrett and has publicly received the backing of senior players Daly Cherry-Evans and Tom and Jake Trbojevic.
Barrett is serving a 12-month notice period after quitting the club in July but is expected to sever ties in the coming weeks.
However, Hasler, who was sacked from Canterbury last year, has emerged as a surprise contender.
Hasler was responsible for rebuilding Manly following the disastrous Northern Eagles merger and transformed the club into a powerhouse, taking them to three grand finals and two premierships from 2004 to 2011.
Hasler was sacked from Manly following their 2011 grand final win after it was revealed he had signed with Canterbury and the Sea Eagles accused him of attempting to lure staff members to follow him to Belmore.
Manly chairman Scott Penn said at the time: "If he wants to bring it on in court, let's go."
However, Hasler and the Penn family have reportedly patched up their differences in the past few weeks.
Hasler was sacked by Canterbury in late 2017 despite signing a two-year contract extension just months earlier.
He eventually reached an out-of-court settlement with the Dogs.
Hasler has an impressive coaching resume including a 58.2 per cent winning record after reaching the finals in 12 straight seasons from 2005 to 2016.