In the wake of Alastair Clarkson's decision to join North Melbourne as their next senior coach, Essendon great and former head coach James Hird has emerged as a potential candidate to take the reins at Tullamarine.
The Bombers were in the race for Clarkson's services in an attempted 11th-hour bid to lure the coaching great to The Hangar, however failed in their advances when the Roos confirmed the 54-year-old's appointment on Friday.
The move has only added to the attention and speculation that surrounds Ben Rutten's future at Essendon, with the Bombers yet to reaffirm their senior coach's position for next season.
Newly-appointed president David Barham is set to address the playing group on Friday morning prior to Rutten's weekly press conference with the media before midday.
While Rutten looms likely to coach the Bombers for the club's Round 23 clash with Richmond, there's no certainty the Adelaide great will be in the hot seat for Essendon's season opener next season as the club braces for an external review this off-season.
With his position seen as untenable following this week's saga, speculation over who could potentially replace Rutten has only amplified with Clarkson's appointment at Arden Street.
In a stunning report from The Herald Sun, Hird has emerged as a potential option to take on the senior coaching duties with the Dons.
According to the publication, Hird is seen as a "serious contender" to coach the Bombers in 2023 after making his return to the coaches box this year with GWS.
Hird joined fellow ex-Bombers player Dean Solomon and Mark McVeigh in a part-time role as an assistant with the New South Wales club, with the latter taking on caretaker coaching duties with the Giants.
The infamous supplements saga led to Hird's departure as senior coach of Essendon in 2015 following his year-long suspension for his involvement in the scandal, snapping a cherished relationship between the Bombers and their famous son.
The Brownlow medallist managed 85 games at the helm across four seasons, amassing 41 wins, 43 losses and 1 draw.