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Trade talk: Deals edge closer

Nick Bowen, Nathan Schmook and Callum Twomey  October 11, 2017 11:20 AM

Where will Jack Watts find himself in 2018?

Where will Jack Watts find himself in 2018?

Tomlinson still in the trade mix

Rival clubs believe contracted Giant Adam Tomlinson remains a chance to switch clubs before next Thursday's 2pm deadline despite Greater Western Sydney's emphatic denials the defender has been put on the trade table.

GWS list manager Craig Cameron was blunt when asked about Tomlinson's future on Monday: "He won't be traded."

St Kilda, which emerged as a suitor for the 194cm backman last week, was given the same message at its meeting with the Giants, prompting club COO Ameet Bains to concede: "The Giants have indicated he's a required player …  unless that changes over the next two weeks, not a lot will happen." 

Tomlinson re-signed with GWS last February until the end of 2019, but it's understood his future at the club, along with a number of other Giants, was discussed by the club internally during the 2017 season and subsequently with his manager, Nick Gieschen, of TLA Worldwide. 

These discussions are thought to have sparked last week's speculation the Victorian had been put on the trade table. 

Greater Western Sydney maintains it won't trade Tomlinson, but clubs in his home state believe he remains gettable this trade period. 

Why they want him 

- Pick No.9 in the Giants' inaugural draft in 2011, Tomlinson has played 91 games, including a career-high 24 in 2017.

- He was one of GWS's best players in its preliminary final loss to Richmond. Playing on the wing instead of his customary role in defence, he finished with 26 possessions, seven marks and five tackles.

If the Giants soften their trade stance on Tomlinson, the Saints would almost certainly renew their interest, but could face competition from other Victorian clubs.

Suns and Dons haggle over Saad picks 

Gold Coast has rejected an offer from Essendon that would see the Bombers' pick No.11 make its way to the Suns in exchange for Adam Saad and pick No.19.

A deal could still be struck between the clubs, however, if the Bombers are willing to accept one of the Suns' second-round picks (No.22 and No.24) instead of No.19. 

Saad, who is contracted until the end of 2018, finished 10th in the Suns' 2017 best and fairest and the club views an eight-pick rise in the draft order as insufficient compensation for the explosive half-back.  

Could the Suns deal with anyone else? 

- Saad, who is settling in Melbourne after returning from holiday in Thailand, nominated Essendon as his preferred club, but his request for a trade was so he could return home to Melbourne for family reasons.

- The Suns are hopeful they would be able to deal with other clubs if a deal with Essendon couldn't be struck.

- Carlton also showed early interest in Saad before the Bombers were nominated as his preferred home. 

Saad's camp remains hopeful a deal will be struck soon to send the 23-year-old to Essendon, setting the Bombers up to focus on their other deals.

Read: Power up the 'Impey' stakes

The Suns have rejected the Bombers' first offer for Adam Saad. Picture: AFL Photos

Saints' top picks remain in play

St Kilda chief operating officer Ameet Bains said some of the "more productive discussions" the Saints had with rival clubs at Etihad Stadium on Monday centered around potential pick swaps involving their two first-round selections, No.7 and No.8

If such a deal can be brokered, it's understood the Saints would prefer to move up the draft order by packaging their picks for an earlier selection and, most likely, a later pick that balances the deal. 

Gold Coast, which holds pick No.2, would appear a potential trade partner given it also holds pick Nos. 19, 22 and 24. 

The Brisbane Lions boast this year's best draft hand with picks Nos. 1, 12 and 18, while they are also expected to receive an end-of-first-round selection (No.18, which would push their second-round pick, currently No.18, to No.19) as compensation for Tom Rockliff's free agency departure to Port Adelaide.

It's highly unlikely the Lions would consider trading pick No.1 for St Kilda's two picks. 

But it's believed the Saints have been approached about trading one of their picks for two later selections. The Lions are well placed to attempt such a deal, but their pursuit of Charlie Cameron is likely to cost them at least one of their picks from No.12 onwards.

Richmond also has pick Nos. 15 and 17, but if they were packaged for one of the Saints' picks, St Kilda would have to give something else to the Tigers to ensure a fair deal.

Ameet Bains said the Saints' two first-round picks could be up for grabs. Picture: AFL Photos 

What's going on with Stringer?

Essendon's willingness to trade pick No.11 to Gold Coast appears to have set back talks over Western Bulldogs forward Jake Stringer

The Bulldogs have set pick No.11 as a minimum return for Stringer and are emphatic they will hold the talented forward to his 2018 contract if they are not satisfied.

It is a situation that has left Stringer's management frustrated, with Paul Connors delivering a pointed message to the Bulldogs on Tuesday afternoon in a radio interview. 

He described the Bulldogs' stance as a "total backflip" after Stringer was publicly put up for trade. 

"We'll be asking more questions when we get called to meetings like this in the future, because it's a total backflip for mine," Connors told SEN. 

"All of a sudden clubs are wanting to publically put our players and any player on the market, and then go, ‘Hang on we actually want pick 10 for this player, or pick 20’ … there’s a caveat on it. 

"I respect the system, but it’s hard when your players are put out there and then the goalposts change a fair bit." 

Talks on Stringer could take some time to progress: "The Western Bulldogs have got their view and Essendon and whoever else is in the mix and us have got our views, and at this stage it's fair to say we're a bit apart," Connors said.

Where will Jake Stringer be playing in 2018? Picture: AFL Photos

Rockliff docks at Port

After Tom Rockliff nominated Port Adelaide as his preferred new club last week, the Power lodged an official free agency offer for the former Brisbane Lions captain on Tuesday. understands Port has offered Rockliff a four-year contract worth about $650,000 a season, a deal the Brisbane Lions almost certainly won't match.

What compensation will the Lions get?

The Lions are expected to receive an end-of-first-round pick, which would fall at No.18 overall. 

That would leave Brisbane with four picks inside the top-20 at the NAB AFL Draft – Nos. 1, 12, 18 and 19 – a very strong hand the Lions could use to tempt Adelaide to part with contracted forward Charlie Cameron

What will Rockliff bring to Alberton?

Rockliff's manager, Tom Petroro, told NAB AFL Trade Radio the Power plan to rotate the 2014 All Australian between the midfield and attack much like they have done so successfully with Robbie Gray. 

Rockliff is an elite contested ball-winner. He led the AFL in average stoppage clearances (4.4 a game) in 2017 and was equal ninth, along with Dustin Martin and Dylan Shiel, for total clearances (6.4 a game).

He has never kicked more than 18 goals in his nine AFL seasons, but was a prolific goalkicker for the Murray Bushrangers in his TAC Cup days and could prove a dangerous forward-50 match-up for rival teams.

Tom Rockliff has one foot into the Power camp. Picture: AFL Photos

What you also need to know

Jack Watts toured Geelong's Simonds Stadium headquarters on Tuesday and will choose between the Cats and Port Adelaide as his new football home. He has got his head around leaving Melbourne and has ruled out Sydney as a potential destination.

Talk of Travis Colyer being traded by Essendon was shot down by sources close to the 26-year-old on Tuesday. Colyer is contracted until the end of 2019 but the Bombers need to get creative to land their three trade targets. 

There is unlikely to be a resolution in talks over Adelaide forward Charlie Cameron until next week, if at all. The Crows stood firm on the opening day of the Trade Period, saying Cameron was a "contracted and required player", despite his wish to be traded to the Brisbane Lions. Cameron has indicated through his management that he won't sign a contract beyond 2018. 

Fremantle utility Nick Suban is exploring his options at rival AFL clubs. The 27-year-old Victorian appears unlikely to be given a new deal before the Trade Period ends. Suban is an unrestricted free agent.

Former first-round draft pick Ben Lennon will have to wait until after the Trade Period to know if he will be back at Richmond next year. The out-of-contract forward last year sought a trade from the club but returned to see out his deal after he was unable to find a new home. He hasn’t been offered a new deal by the Tigers for 2018. The 22-year-old, who was taken at pick No.12 in the 2013 draft, managed just two senior games this year but was not among the first group of players delisted by the Tigers, which were announced on Monday.

Richmond also looks likely to assess Jake Batchelor’s situation late in the Trade Period, with the defender out of contract after struggling for opportunities in 2017. Premiership forward Jacob Townsend is also out of contract after a fairytale end to the season but an extension for the 24-year-old is a formality.