SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JULY 21: Tigers coach Ivan Cleary looks on during the round 19 NRL match between the Wests Tigers and the South Sydney Rabbitohs at ANZ Stadium on July 21, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

NRL journalist Paul Kent is reporting that Wests Tigers coach Ivan Cleary would be willing to walk out on the club at the end of the season to team up with his son, Nathan, at the Penrith Panthers.

“It began last week. Dave O’Neil, the chairman of the Penrith football club, rang Ivan. They still keep in contact,” Kent told NRL 360.

“Ivan has told Wests Tigers he believed the meeting was about Nathan, his son at the club.

“He went to the meeting and in the meeting they asked Ivan: ‘Would you ever come back come back? And if so, when do you think you would? 2021? 2022?’

“And Ivan said: ‘I would be willing to go back next year. Sooner rather than later’.

“They (Panthers) were just spitballing. If Ivan was going to go back it would be next year. Not in two years time, three years time.”

Kent added that because the Panthers are better positioned to achieve success than the Tigers may influence Ivan in his bid to coach Nathan.

“The other thing that is interesting is that Ivan’s son is at Penrith. He wants the best for his son, he wants his son to get good coaching he wants to see his son flourish as a player.

“Ivan is entitled to think that here (Penrith) might be the best place to do that. Why give another coach a couple of years to get to Nathan and perhaps not allow him to grow as a footballer as he believes he should?

“So Ivan could go there and look after his son who’s at the club.

“(Wests Tigers) don’t have a centre of excellence, resources, list or kids coming through that Penrith have got.”

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