Alastair Clarkson has ruled himself out of coaching Carlton, saying he will definitely take next season off from a full-time role.
The four-time Hawthorn premiership coach confirmed he spoke to new Blues chief executive Brian Cook at the weekend.
Clarkson's confirmation means former Brisbane senior coach and current Port Adelaide assistant Michael Voss is the short-priced favourite to take over at Carlton.
"I'm sticking to what I said ... I'm not ready to go flat out again," Clarkson told AFL360.
The embattled Blues pulled out off a major coup on Friday night when they lured Cook, the highly respected former Geelong and West Coast chief executive, to take over the role.
That immediately ramped up speculation again that the Blues could yet land Clarkson.
But Clarkson was unequivocal on Monday night that he would go ahead with his plan to not be a senior coach next year.
Clarkson had repeatedly stated he intends to take a year off in 2022, while admitting his circumstances could change.
He left Hawthorn at the end of the season after the succession plan with new coach Sam Mitchell quickly unravelled.
Clarkson's latest comments come as Cameron Bruce left the Blues on Monday to join Brisbane.
His departure means none of David Teague's senior assistant coaches are left at Carlton, leaving the new coach to pick his own team.
Teague was sacked last month following a review of the Carlton football department.
On Monday, Fox Sports reported only a backflip from Clarkson would prevent the Blues from appointing Voss as their new coach.
Former Brisbane coach Voss, who is Ken Hinkley's senior assistant at Port Adelaide, has been vying with Richmond assistant Adam Kingsley and Essendon's Daniel Giansiracusa for the Blues' top job.
High-profile former senior coaches Ross Lyon, Brad Scott and Nathan Buckley are already out of the race.
Apart from Bruce, senior assistant John Barker departed in June, while Dale Amos and Brent Stanton were cut loose at the same time as Teague.
Bruce spent four seasons at Carlton after a stint at Hawthorn, serving the Blues as an assistant coach across all three lines.
His move into coaching followed a decorated 234-game playing career with Melbourne and Hawthorn.
Bruce will reunite with Chris Fagan at Brisbane after the pair worked together with Clarkson during the Hawks' hat-trick of premierships from 2013 to 2015.
The 41-year-old will coach the Lions' midfield group under Fagan.
"I'm really excited about the opportunity to team up with Fages again and to work with a group that is really contending,'" Bruce said.
"It is an opportunity to go on an adventure with my family who are all very excited about what lies ahead.
"I have a real passion for the caper and helping players get the most out of their careers and I am looking forward to getting up there (to Brisbane) and doing what I can to help this group continue to improve."