Speculation continues to link Jim Harbaugh, 49ers

All the signs are pointing directly at Trent Baalke as the next general manager of the 49ers. NFL Network insider Michael Lombardi left little room for interpretation when he told the Network, “The 49ers are going to hire Trent Baalke.”

So Baalke seems like a lock, or as near to one as there can be as far as the rumblings go, even as Matt Maiocco reports that the 49ersĀ are continuing the interview process.

49ers CEO Jed York was clear during a recent news conference that the next GM will hire the next coach. With Baalke on board, the belief is that Stanford’s Jim Harbaugh is then the next step.

“But there is a firm belief among NFL insiders — and some folks at Stanford — that Baalke will be able to deliver Jim Harbaugh to be the 49ers’ head coach,” Maiocco wrote.

The quick hire of Baalke would allow the 49ers to move on a quick hire of Harbaugh, who coaches Stanford’s last game on January 3.

As this process unfolds, Tim Kawakami points out that the obvious nature of the all-or-nothing approach with Harbaugh only helps his leverage, which will cost the 49ers.

It all seems to suggest that Harbaugh is the real “get” here and has approved Baalke, which would in turn seem to make his job of luring the next head coach a simple matter.

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