Barrett is highly regarded by those in the know after taking Manly to the upper end of the table in just his second year at Brookvale.

How quickly things can change.

The Sea Eagles’ woeful start to 2017 had many Manly faithful calling for Barrett’s head, but after taking the Northern Beaches club as high as equal second this campaign, Bulldogs powerbrokers are reportedly eyeing the young coach as Hasler's replacement.

Barrett is contracted until the end of next season and Manly are keen to extend his contract.

However, negotiations between Barrett and the Sea Eagles are said to be at a snail's pace.

Noises are growing so loud Bulldogs boss Ray Dib was forced to address the rumours his club were interested in securing Barrett's services.  

"I called Wayne [Beavis] to let him know that despite what may have been said to him, we are not chasing Trent as a coach and that is not disrespecting Trent," Dib told Fairfax.

"The simple fact is that we have a coach and we have no plans to remove Des. All of this talk is unfair on Des... we are behind Des. He is doing it tough because it all falls on him when he is trying his best. The players are trying their best for him.

"All clubs have their down years... look at the Roosters last year. The end can't come quickly enough for this year. Next year is already exciting and we will have Des in charge to take us there."

Hasler has led Canterbury to just seven wins this season to sit in 13th place with five games remaining.

They Belmore club has no chance of making the finals, the first Des Hasler-coached side that has failed to do so since 2004.