MICK Malthouse will decide whether to coach Carlton within a week.
Malthouse's manager, Peter Sidwell, and Blues president Stephen Kernahan, chief executive Greg Swann and football operations boss Andrew McKay have officially opened discussions.
''Expect a decision over the next week,'' Sidwell said yesterday.
''Discussions are expected over that time.''
The Blues had also tested Paul Roos' interest in what Swann yesterday said was ''plan B'' but the 2005 Swans premiership coach last night said he had declined the overtures.
''I spoke to Stephen and explained why I couldn't do it,'' Roos told The Age.
Roos has a son in year 12 next year and wants to remain in Sydney with his family.
It is believed Malthouse is spending time at the moment assessing Carlton's assistant coaches and what staff he would like to bring to the club if he were to agree to terms.
Long-time friend Robert Wiley has emerged as a strong candidate to join Malthouse, his former Richmond premiership teammate, in a backroom role.
Wiley was a runner with West Coast Eagles when Malthouse helped deliver premierships in 1992 and 1994 and works as a junior coach with the WAFL.
Magpies football operations manager Geoff Walsh and director of sports science David Buttifant, two men who helped Malthouse win the 2010 flag when at Collingwood, have said they will remain with the Pies.
The Blues are expected to offer Malthouse a three-year contract worth about $3 million.
Speaking on the Blues' weekly show, The Blue Print, Swann maintained the club had not approached Malthouse before deciding to end Brett Ratten's tenure last week.
''Everybody is keen to say that it was a done deal - it wasn't a done deal,'' he said.
Asked if the Blues had a contingency plan if Malthouse were to reject their offer, Swann said: ''Plan B was also to talk to Roosy. But we were also pretty confident we would get a senior, experienced premiership coach, which is really the criteria we are after.''
Swann said Malthouse, 59, had made it clear through the year that he was still keen to coach. He has reaffirmed he still had the passion to coach in recent interviews.
''As I said before, even in discussions earlier in the year, even when he left his last job [at Collingwood], he had petrol in the tank, he wanted to coach again,'' Swann said.
''Even when he talks to people at various functions, he made it known to anybody he spoke to that 'I still have some petrol in the tank'.''
''We knew that he was still keen to coach.''
Malthouse last night told Channel Seven that discussions with the Blues had been ''promising'' and he was excited about the prospect of coaching the club.
''I have a clearer picture now of how the inner workings of the football department work at Carlton,'' he said.
Malthouse said he had also asked the Blues ''how far they are down the track with Travis Cloke. The answer was probably as clear as mud.''
Swann said the Blues would be in the ''hunt'' for Cloke should the power forward decide to leave the Magpies.
He also confirmed the Blues would like to stage most, if not all, of their home matches at the MCG when their contract with Etihad Stadium expires after the 2014 campaign.