SPECULATION that former Saints scrum half Sean Long is returning to his old club intensified this morning after Salford's owner Marwan Koukash tweeted that they had reluctantly agreed to let him go.

It has been widely expected that Long, who has been on the coaching staff at Salford, would team up with new Saints boss Keiron Cunningham.

Initially the talk was that Saints would seek to promote from within, particularly with Jamahl Lolesi staying on as assistant.

However, Koukash has tweeted "The club has reluctantly agreed to Sean Long's request to leave the club with immediate effect. I personally feel very disappointed."

At the moment nothing has been confirmed at the Saints end and his return remains conjecture, but the colourful three times Lance Todd winner Long would be a popular appointment among the fans.

He was highly regarded at Saints with Grand Slam winning coach Daniel Anderson describing him as the best player he has ever coached.

Long, who worked for his coaching badges at the same time as Cunningham, is currently in Australia assisting Samoa in the Four Nations.