Roosters assistant coach Adam O'Brien.

Newcastle have drawn up their hit list, with Sydney Roosters assistant Adam O’Brien sitting atop of their targets and expected to meet the club by the end of the week.

NRL.com can also reveal Penrith Panthers assistant Cameron Ciraldo is highly regarded and will be approached for an interview, so too Melbourne assistant Jason Ryles.

Cronulla assistant coach Jim Dymock has also been discussed, along with former Canberra coach Dave Furner.

Roosters assistant Craig Fitzgibbon has pulled out of the race, committing to Trent Robinson and the Tri-colours.

"He's extended his time at the Roosters and he's happy there so he doesn't want to look into it," Fitzgibbon's agent David Riolo told NRL.com.

"He's only just done an extension and he's given his word that he won't go elsewhere.

"We've been approached by the Knights, which is flattering. I can see why they've approached him because he's probably the best coach not head coaching at the moment.

"That makes sense, but no he's already committed to the Roosters and he'll be staying there."

The Knights have been in contact with a number of agents over the past 24 hours, and are expected to start meeting with candidates by the end of the week.

Panthers coach Cameron Ciraldo.
Panthers coach Cameron Ciraldo. ©Jason O'Brien/NRL Photos

The club is hopeful they will finalise their coach for 2020 and beyond by the end of the regular season.

It’s understood the club will talk to a number of its senior players to get a gauge on who they believe is the right man for the job.

Tim Glasby, who is highly regarded by the key figures at the club, has a big opinion of O’Brien having worked with him over a number of years at the Storm.

O’Brien ticks both those boxes, having worked under Craig Bellamy for several seasons before deciding to link with Robinson and the reigning premiers.

Other names that have been mentioned to the club include Trent Barrett and Todd Payten, however they appear to be well behind the leading contenders.

Knights assistant Kristian Woolf will also come into calculations if he misses out on the St Helens job vacated by Justin Holbrook’s forthcoming move to the Gold Coast Titans.