THINGS are about to get interesting.
Free agency has started and the trade window will be torn open on Monday morning.
Luke Dahlhaus and Reece Conca joined Geelong and Fremantle respectively on the opening day of free agency, while Richmond made an offer to Tom Lynch on Friday and Port Adelaide lodged the paperwork for Scott Lycett on Saturday afternoon.
And now that the ball is rolling, expect plenty of movement next week.
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Ahead of this year’s trade period, foxsports.com.au has looked at some of the deals that will happen, could happen and won’t happen.
LOCK IT IN
Port Adelaide midfielder Jared Polec went down the unusual path of airing some of his dirty laundry in a refreshingly honest radio interview last month. The star wingman is certain to get to Arden Street on a deal worth $ 3.5 million over five years.
Three-time All-Australian midfielder Dan Hannebery has requested a trade to Moorabbin and will get there over the next fortnight. We will have to wait and see what pick or player it will cost the Saints, especially given they don’t currently have a pick between Pick 3 and Pick 57.
The Mitch McGovern rollercoaster might have a few turns to come yet, but the highly-rated key forward wants to get to Carlton. Despite having two years to run on the deal he signed last year, the West Australian will likely cost a pick towards the back end of the first-round — and maybe a set of steak knives.
WORK TO BE DONE
Dylan Shiel appears increasingly likely to be plying his trade in his home state next year, with Carlton, Hawthorn, St Kilda and Essendon all dangling truckloads of cash in front of him. The Blues flew him to Noosa on a private jet last week and appear the front runner, but it still remains unclear what is going to happen with the Giants star who is contracted until the end of next year.
Ball magnet Lachie Neale wants to get to Brisbane and might make that intention clear after Saturday night’s Doig Medal. But the Dockers might make the deal more difficult than it has to be, despite the Lions holding Pick 4 in a bumper draft.
Fremantle appears to be the big player in this trade period, with Demons forward Jesse Hogan and Giants ruckman Rory Lobb both wanting to return to Western Australia. The Dockers might have Pick 4 and 5 up their sleeve next week, placing them in a strong bargaining position for both.
The Suns have already lost Gary Ablett and Tom Lynch in the space of 12 months and look likely to lose a third skipper, with Steven May being courted by a few Victorian sides. The star defender is contracted until the end of 2019 and could still play there next year. But it is looking increasingly likely that Melbourne could add May to its back six, a year after landing Jake Lever. Collingwood have been linked to the 26-year-old for a long time, but after re-signing Darcy Moore on Friday night, they might be out of the race.
Mature-age sensation Tim Kelly has requested to be traded home to West Coast — and not Fremantle — but Geelong made a bold stance on Friday by releasing a statement that said it is “highly likely he will remain at the club”. Players don’t usually stay against their will so this will be interesting to watch — just like it has been all year long.
The Western Bulldogs are pursuing him and Hawthorn is sniffing around, but Port Adelaide star Chad Wingard might remain at Alberton. The dual All-Australian is believed to be looking for a big payday, but the gap between the Power’s offer and others might not be much different, which could mean he stays where is. It has been an interesting few weeks for Wingard, with more to come on Instagram — his communication tool of choice.
NOT RIGHT NOW
While it has been all about Shiel this year, it hasn’t stopped the murmurs swirling around about Josh Kelly. The budding superstar has another year to run on the contract he signed after turning his back on North Melbourne’s godfather offer. Expect him to stay, but then expect next year’s trade rumours to be heavily focused on Kelly again next year.
With Hannebery wanting out, along with Gary Rohan and Nic Newman, if Luke Parker was to join them there would be some questions raised. The star midfielder is contracted until the end of 2021, at the peak of his powers and the club has said he is off limits, but it hasn’t stopped his name being linked to a move back to Victoria, with Essendon leading the charge.
For a player who won his fourth best and fairest last month to be linked to a move to another Victorian club, something must be up, especially when it isn’t a financially motivated move. But given Jack Steven has two years to run on his contract and is the heart and soul of St Kilda, it is hard to see a move being executed.