Ben Newton looks set to continue his career at Melbourne next year
MELBOURNE has emerged as the front-runner to secure the services of delisted Port Adelaide midfielder Ben Newton.
The Demons have been keen to build their midfield stocks since the arrival of Paul Roos and successfully introduced young midfielders Dom Tyson, Aidan Riley and Viv Michie to the squad last season through the exchange period.
Newton is regarded as a talented player who has been starved of opportunities to consolidate a place in a star-studded line-up at Port Adelaide.
AFL.com.au understands Newton attracted interest from several clubs since his delisting was announced but the Demons have emerged as a potential home.
The 22-year-old from Western Australia was pick No.35 in the 2010 AFL National Draft but did not make his debut with Port Adelaide until round seven this season when he was a late inclusion against Greater Western Sydney.
The skilful left footer had trouble with an ankle injury that hampered the former AIS-AFL Academy graduate's initial progress at Port Adelaide but he won plaudits for his efforts in 2014.
He played four games – including the round 17 clash against Melbourne – but could not retain his spot once the Power regained key players from injury.
He is considered a good kick and was on the fringe of senior selection during Port Adelaide's finals series playing well for the Magpies in the SANFL finals.
If Melbourne can secure Newton when the delisted free agency period opens on Saturday, he will join a developing young midfield led by Tyson and Jack Viney.
The Demons added Sam Frost, Jeff Garlett and Heritier Lumumba during the recent trade period.