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Brian Kelly in action for Manly.

Des Hasler has made his first move in the player market since returning to Manly a fortnight ago by nutting out the details of a release for centre Brian Kelly to join the Gold Coast for 2019. understands that Kelly, who was off contract at the end of 2020, had agreed to - but not signed - a one-year extension with Manly.

As a result of having not signed, he became eligible to talk to other clubs from November 1 and the Gold Coast came calling.

The 22-year-old, who was born in the northern NSW town of Lismore, played under 20s with the Titans before signing with Manly and making his NRL debut in 2017.

He won the Sea Eagles' rookie of the year award that same season and was on the verge of reaching his 50-game milestone with the club.

It's understood Kelly's future became entangled in the turmoil around who would coach Manly in 2019. It was then that Kelly asked for a release from the Sea Eagles to join the Titans as soon as possible.

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Sources at Manly say Hasler agreed on Monday to let Kelly return north. The financial terms of Kelly's release is the only outstanding issue with the Titans but he won't be at Brookvale next year.

The youngster had the third-highest number of tackle breaks at the Sea Eagles in 2018, behind rep stars Tom Trbojevic and Martin Taupau.

He has played 47 NRL games and scored 15 tries, including seven in his 24 matches this year.

In other news for Manly, who returned to pre-season training on Monday, Hasler has brought in former players Matt Ballin and Michael Monaghan in coaching and welfare positions.

The two No.9s were valuable players under Hasler's first tenure as head coach (2004-2011) playing in the 2007 (Mongahan), 2008 and 2011 (Ballin) grand finals.

It is all part of Hasler's grand plan to re-engage the Sea Eagles fans by bringing back more of the faces familiar with success.

Halfback Daly Cherry-Evans is the only one left from the 2011 premiership side in the current roster.

Former head coach Trent Barrett made him captain in January 2017 and it's understood Hasler wants Cherry-Evans to continue in the role.

Barrett is still employed by the Sea Eagles but his departure is also being finalised by club officials, after he handed in his resignation last July.

Hasler was appointed on October 22 on a  three-year deal.

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