DUBLIN are looking to install a senior hurling manager on a three-year term, although whether that precludes Anthony Daly being reappointed or extends his tenure into a seventh - and ultimately, eighth and ninth season - remains unknown.
Speaking at the launch of this year's Kilmacud Crokes Sevens tournament in Croke Park yesterday, Dublin county board chairman Andy Kettle said he expected to discuss the issue with Daly next weekend but discounted the option of ratifying his Clare man for a further single season, as they have done after each of the past three years.
"I don't think a year's extension is what's required for Dublin hurling going forward. I think it's a three-year project," said Kettle, who intimated that Daly was aware of the board's preference but confirmed that he had yet to speak with the Clareman since the team's meek exit from this year's Championship to Tipperary in Thurles, a defeat which the power-brokers in the county clearly saw as symptomatic of failings which require long-term planning to repair.
Daly is currently holidaying in Portugal and has not yet let it be known whether he is agreeable to take on such a long-term commitment.
Similarly, Kettle gave no cast-iron guarantee that the board would automatically reappoint Daly if he was.
Kettle did, however, insist that Dublin were not actively searching for an alternative.
"I would pose the question, are there many people to look at?" he said. "That in itself has to be taken into consideration.
"I'm not saying there's nobody else, but top managers like Anthony Daly are thin on the ground."
When pressed, Kettle said there were "one or two credible candidates in Dublin," although it seems as though Daly's re-appointment for three years remains the board's preferred outcome.
"He has had time to think about it, he's had time to talk to his family," Kettle added.
"He's had time to evaluate his own personal life, whether the road up to Dublin is getting longer or shorter is probably a big factor in his thinking."
Separately, Richie Stakelum - one of Daly's selectors and a confidant since his appointment in October 2008 - said he had "no idea what decision Anthony will make."
"This is all about Anthony," he said. "Anthony is the person making the massive commitment. There is no two ways about that. I'm living here in Dublin. It's as handy for me to cycle over to Parnell Park or O'Toole Park for training.
"Anthony Daly is 540 kilometres of a round trip (from his home in West Clare).
"He makes the decision. And it's a huge decision for him to make. He's on holidays at the moment. And I'm sure he will sit down the county board over the next couple of days or weeks and sort it out."
"You know Anthony, his heart is on his sleeve. He doesn't hide. He was hugely disappointed and hugely frustrated. I'm sure Anthony, after six years, is saying: 'What do we do? If you stay on, do you make it worse? Can you make it better?'
"Anthony has a huge amount to contribute. It really is about whether he has the heart or the will, and whether he feels there is more to give. It's his decision. And I have no idea what decision he'll make."
Stakelum also insisted that regardless of who will be Dublin manager next year, major regeneration was now necessary.
He said: "Are there changes that need to be made? Absolutely.
"The team is together for quite a while. And maybe it's time now to give others a chance. Are the players that are around any better or any worse or can they be better? I don't know.
"If those guys get a chance, we'll see. But the whole thing needs to be freshened up for certain.
"You can't continue on with the same setup and the same format. You have to change."
Stakelum went on state that establishing a tradition in Dublin was "like changing DNA".
"There isn't a huge bank of heritage or history for people to dig into or go back to the days when there were so many good days in their careers at minor or under 21. It's a shallow base," he added.
"Whereas in Tipperary and Cork and Kilkenny, there's a tradition there.
"So we're continuously trying to fight against that.
"We're continuously trying to top up that confidence and have players coming through but they don't come through in droves here."