COLLINGWOOD is awaiting a final answer from outgoing Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson on his plans for 2022 before proceeding with its own coaching search this week.
The Pies' hunt to replace Nathan Buckley will ramp up in coming days with a line yet to be drawn through Clarkson's name on Collingwood's whiteboard.
The four-time premiership coach rebuffed the Pies' approach last month while still at Hawthorn and has stated several times he intends to take a break next year.
However, the Pies will endeavour to learn whether his position has changed after his 17-year tenure at the Hawks ended on Saturday.
"Obviously a bit will play out after this weekend, without naming names, that would be fair to say," premiership Pie and member of the club's coaching sub-committee Luke Ball told ABC Sport on Sunday.
"Now that a lot of teams' seasons have finished, the process is progressing towards decision time.
"I'm not sure (whether there will be further interviews), that will be decided coming out of this weekend, depending on some potential candidates, what they want to do."
Clarkson has already changed his mind on his plans twice this season – firstly on approaching Hawks officials on the club's future coaching timeline in June and secondly on opting out of the handover to Sam Mitchell for 2022/2023.
Pies head of football Graham Wright worked with Clarkson at Hawthorn until earlier this year with reports suggesting the pair fell out of favour late in their time together. However, AFL.com.au understands should Clarkson pursue the Pies' position, a new relationship across town would be manageable.
Carlton is also expected to be in need of a senior coach by as early as Monday with David Teague likely to be sacked despite holding a contract for next year. Clarkson presents as a strong consideration for the Blues along with former St Kilda and Fremantle coach Ross Lyon who last week put his hand up for the job should it become available.
The Pies have conducted a wide range of interviews with several candidates including Adam Kingsley (Richmond), Jaymie Graham (West Coast), Michael Voss (Port Adelaide) and Craig McRae (Hawthorn).
It remains to be seen whether Sydney assistant Don Pyke will seek to be part of the Pies' search, and while former North Melbourne Brad Scott has been spoken to, he is also believed to be a contender for the vacant role as AFL football operations boss.
Port Adelaide premiership coach and current Melbourne development guru Mark Williams hasn't been part of the Pies' process.
Speaking following the Pies' final game against Essendon on Sunday, caretaker coach Robert Harvey said he would wait for the "dust to settle" before speaking to Wright about his chances for the top job on Monday.
Wright and Ball are part of the five-person sub-committee to find the Pies' next coach alongside chief executive Mark Anderson, football director Paul Licuria and director Peter Murphy.