Huddersfield Giants are in advanced negotiations with Ian Watson over the vacant head coach position.
The Red Devils announced his departure from the club this evening and TotalRL can reveal the 44-year-old appears destined to take the reins at the John Smith’s Stadium stadium next year.
Under his guidance, Salford have defied expectations and reached two major finals in 12 months, reaching the Super League Grand Final in October 2019 before reaching the Challenge Cup Final this year.
Watson had spoken to Hull FC about their vacant position but ultimately decided against the move.
But he has now left the club after five years in charge.
In that time, the Red Devils have overcome point deductions, small budgets and the loss of start players to feature in two showpiece events.
In 2016 Salford dramatically secured Super League status with victory in the Million Pound Game, having suffered an eight-point deduction.
2017 saw them reach the Challenge Cup semi-final before rising the ranks in 2019, with a stunning end to the season culminating with an appearance at Old Trafford, despite the Red Devils having the lowest budget in the competition.
This year saw Salford reach Wembley for the first time since 1969.
In a statement, Salford said: “The club were surprised and disappointed by Watson’s decision yesterday, following his previous statements of intent for the coming season, but understand his desire to continue his development through the experience of a new environment.
“Watson was contracted to the club until the end of the 2022 season, after agreeing an extension in February of this year, and compensation has now been agreed between all parties.
“Everyone at Salford Red Devils would like to thank Watson for his contribution to the club throughout his tenure and wish him all the best in his new role.”
It will be a sensational acquisition for the Giants, with Watson regarded as the best coach in the British game.
The Giants parted ways with Simon Woolford earlier this year and haven’t made the play-offs since 2015.
Recent years have seen them produce players from their Academy and sign their first marquee player in Aidan Sezer.