Bennett shopped to Sydney club
BRISBANE Broncos supercoach Wayne Bennett has reportedly been shopped to the Wests Tigers as a possible replacement for Ivan Cleary.
The Australian reported late Tuesday night that the seven-time premiership winner had been quietly offered to the joint merger after being told 2019 would be his last year in Brisbane.
Cleary is under contract at the Tigers until 2020 but the prospect of signing Bennett may mean they decide to cut ties following the 2019 season, allowing him to link up with his son Nathan at Penrith after being offered a lucrative deal to return to the Panthers as head coach.
Interestingly, Cleary and Bennett are managed by the same company - SFX Sports - and The Australian said the Tigers had been approached to see if they were interested in Bennett.
The Tigers are believed to be interested in signing an experienced coach and Bennett - who has won six titles with the Broncos and another with the Dragons - certainly fits the bill.
Cleary is yet to announce what he'll do after 2020 but he has been offered a massive contract to join Penrith at the completion of his current deal and is expected to accept it.
Michael Maguire is another coach without an NRL gig who is reportedly being considered by the Tigers, but he is also in straight shootout to perhaps replace Trent Barrett at Manly with assistant Sea Eagles coach John Cartwright.
Maguire has also been linked with a move to the Broncos to replace Bennett after the 2019 season - and it's believed that Brisbane would be his preferred destination.
However, the Broncos have also been linked with Souths coach Anthony Seibold, who is about to enter the final year of his Rabbitohs deal with an extension yet to be agreed upon.
Signing Bennett would be a significant coup by the Tigers despite the Broncos crashing out in week one of the finals in a massive upset by St George Illawarra.
He was already on the outer at the Broncos before that capitulation and it was confirmed a couple of weeks ago that the 2019 season would be Bennett's last in Brisbane.
Despite being on the verge of turning 70 and having been coaching for over 30 years at the top level, Bennett has repeatedly insisted that he's not ready to retire just yet.
A host of coaches come off contract at the end of 2019, several of whom need fast starts next season to secure their futures.
Canterbury's Dean Pay and Parramatta's Brad Arthur are just two coaches who will start next season under immense pressure to perform or their positions will come under intense scrutiny.