I want to stay a Hawk, Buddy insists
Franklin admits contract issue will be a distraction
LANCE Franklin's decision to put contract negotiations with Hawthorn on hold is his call and his alone, according to his agent.
In his first expansive interview after Franklin shocked the Hawks
, player manager Liam Pickering revealed he will continue to liaise with the club's football manager despite his client's desire to solely concentrate on football.
"Mark Evans and myself will continue the dialogue we've had for the last few months but 'Buddy' doesn't want to know about it at the moment," Pickering told Radio SEN.
"I'm an employee of Buddy's so I'm going to respect his wishes."
Earlier on Monday, Franklin spoke at a press conference
to promote the upcoming Indigenous All Stars' game with Richmond in Alice Springs
The four-time All Australian, who will become a restricted free agent at the end of this year, gave no indication he would consider switching to a rival club.
"I love Hawthorn, they've been an absolute great footy club for myself, but it was just my decision [to put talks off]; it was something I wanted to do," Franklin said.
"I've got no intentions of leaving the football club, but it is what it is."
Pickering said, despite Franklin's wishes to delay talks until the end of the season, his star client could re-sign earlier. However, it wasn't a fait accompli.
"He might turn around in a month and say 'mate let's just get this done,' but at the moment he's not saying that," Pickering said.
"Hawthorn aren't sitting on their hands here, Hawthorn have put together a reasonable offer.
"They would prefer to do it now, and I get that.
"He's a hugely popular person. He sells double (the) jumpers than any other player in the game."
Pickering said he expected to receive plenty of offers from other clubs, but hadn't received any yet.
The mastermind of Gary Ablett's famous move from Geelong to the Gold Coast insisted this situation wasn't the same.
"That was a bit of a different scenario with Gold Coast coming in [to the AFL]," he said.
Matt Thompson is a reporter for AFL Media. Follow him on Twitter @MattThompsonAFL