John Mitchell has terminated his contract as Lions head coach, allowing him to link up with Sale Sharks, according to reports coming out of South Africa.
Mitchell was originally suspended by the Lions earlier this year following a series of disagreements with senior players.
The former All Blacks head coach joined Sale earlier this season as a consultant and appeared set to take on a role full-time, but his suspension was lifted and Mitchell returned to Johannesburg at the beginning of November declaring him long-term ambition to remain with the Union in 2013.
Mitchell now will, with immediate effect, assume the position of technical advisor to the Golden Lions, with assistant coach Johan Ackermann taking over the head coach position.
Mitchell will enter into a one-year consultancy role, where he will use his expertise and experience to provide necessary technical advice to the Golden Lions. He will work to assist the team in their work towards 2014 Super Rugby reinstatement.
As per the conditions of the new agreement, Mitchell will not consult for any other South African franchise during his consultation tenure at the Golden Lions Rugby Union.
"I am pleased that Kevin de Klerk and GLRU CEO Ruben Moggee have been extremely supportive of my wish to remain on board at the Lions, while allowing me the chance to consider other associations linked to rugby," said Mitchell.
"I am fully committed to helping the Lions and head coach Johan Ackermann in the rebuilding process. I have unfinished business with the Lions and this new arrangement will enable me to help the team achieve the goals they have set out."