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Crows fail to rule out another Gibbs tilt

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Carlton midfielder Bryce Gibbs - AFL,Trade,Carlton Blues,Adelaide Crows,Bryce Gibbs
Carlton midfielder Bryce Gibbs

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ADELAIDE has refused to rule out using its strong hand of early draft picks to make a play for Carlton star midfielder Bryce Gibbs. 

The Crows now hold picks 10 and 16 for next month's NAB AFL Draft after sending Jake Lever to Melbourne on Thursday in the first major deal of the Trade Period.

They could also bring in another top-20 pick for Charlie Cameron if they relent and allow the small forward to make a move to the Brisbane Lions. 

The Crows made a strong bid for Gibbs at last year's exchange period but were unable to get it across the line as Carlton asked for two first-round selections, but with a bevy of choices this year are in a stronger position to get a deal done.

List manager Justin Reid said on Friday morning that the club's position on Gibbs hadn't changed. 

"The noise won't go away. I think I was pretty clear on Monday when we came out and [said] he's a contracted player at the Carlton Football Club," he told NAB AFL Trade Radio.

"It'd be wrong of me to be talking about a contracted player like Bryce is at the Carlton footy club, and my understanding is he's very happy where he is."

However, he wouldn't be drawn on whether the Crows' early picks could be sent elsewhere to land a ready-made player, and said that the club had learned from the public stance it made last year in chasing Gibbs.

"That all happened very, very quickly and late last year, and it probably took us by surprise as well. But you do learn your lesson. I have a really good relationship with 'SOS' (Carlton list manager Stephen Silvagni) and the Carlton Football Club, so we'll work through the next seven days and see how things play out," he said. 

Reid said he had not spoken to Gibbs, while he reiterated the club's view that Cameron is a contracted player and is expected to be at the Crows next season despite his wish to head to Queensland. 

The Crows have made a pitch for Geelong free agent Steven Motlop as the speedy Cat considers his options. Reid said the club will wait for a decision from Motlop ahead of Sunday's free agency deadline, with the talented forward weighing a move to South Australia to be closer to family.

"We are hearing he may be keen to move to Adelaide given the family connections he has here, but I also know Geelong would still be keen to keep him at the football club as well. Steven needs to work through that and we'll find out soon," Reid said.

Reid said the Crows had discussed Essendon's Aaron Francis with the Bombers, but that there was no update about whether the club would chase the homesick defender who has asked to be traded back to South Australia.  

Lever's trade to the Demons, along with the aforementioned deals, has meant the Crows will be one of the busiest clubs across the competition. Reid denied the Crows had missed a chance to keep the emerging defender by not re-signing him earlier in the year.

"Who knows? You'd have to ask Jake that question. We're really clear where the offer was at in regard to benchmarking, and what was reported out there, I can be really clear there was no 'low-balling'," he said.

"But we also have a list that's sitting top-four at the moment that we need to be fair and reasonable to that list to try and keep the group together. That's the decision we made, and obviously Jake made his decision with his management, now we all move on."

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