The NRL has ruled out the prospects of Shane Flanagan returning to coach a club in 2020.
Flanagan met privately with NRL CEO Todd Greenberg at their Moore Park headquarters last Tuesday, sparking speculation the former Cronulla coach could find himself at the helm of an NRL club by as soon as next season, with Flanagan's name being linked to the Dragons in recent days, where coach Paul McGregor finds himself placed under increasing scrutiny.
But according to the Sydney Morning Herald's Sam Phillips, an NRL official confirmed that while the meeting between Flanagan and Greenberg did take place, they wouldn't be allowing the 2016 premiership coach to make a return to the competition next year.
It was also confirmed the Dragons have not contacted the NRL in regards to Flanagan.
Flanagan was de-registered by the NRL last December, after news emerged that he had been involved in recruitment and retention of players at Cronulla, despite being under suspension for his role in the club's peptides saga in 2013.
Cronulla was fined $500,000 for allowing Flanagan's involvement at the club while he was suspended, an amount that was reduced from $800,000 after the Sharks admitted guilt.
Flanagan is still permitted to coach in the English Super League, but a return to the NRL in the near future doesn't seem overly likely for the 53-year-old.
Flanagan was in attendance to see Sharks skipper Paul Gallen play his final game on Sunday afternoon.