Penrith will announce the signing of Ivan Cleary as their head coach for next season as early as tomorrow.
It comes after the Wests Tigers paved the way for Cleary to return to the foot of the Mountains by announcing the signing of premiership winning coach Michael Maguire for the next three seasons.
Cleary had been contracted to the Tigers for the next two seasons but will now be released from that commitment.
The Weekender understands Penrith will pay no direct compensation to the Wests Tigers as part of Cleary’s move back to the Panthers.
Wests Tigers CEO Justin Pascoe, who originally said the club was no chance of releasing Cleary, said he was looking forward to Maguire joining the club.
“Michael is an impressive individual and I look forward to working closely with him over the coming years,” said Pascoe.
“In all of our discussions he’s been professional and has a clear understanding of where we want to take this club and I’m sure that he’s the person to lead us to future success both on and off the field.
“Michael has taken sides to Premierships both in Australia and overseas and I look forward to seeing him take our playing squad to the next level.”
Wests Tigers Chair Marina Go thanked Cleary for his efforts while at the club.
“On behalf of everyone at Wests Tigers I would like to thank Ivan for the work he did during his time at the club,” said Go.
“Ivan oversaw a period of significant change at Wests Tigers and his work will leave a positive impact on the club.”
Penrith are now finalising the paperwork required to officially bring Cleary back to the club.
Troy Dodds is the Weekender’s Managing Editor. He has more than 15 years experience as a journalist, working with some of Australia’s leading media organisations.