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Port wins power struggle over free agent Motlop

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Motlop moves, Doggie discussions, more Friday Footy Feed with Matt Thompson
AFL 2017 Second Semi Final - Geelong v Sydney

Steven Motlop is set to join Port Adelaide as a free agent

Keep up with all the deals with the Trade Tracker
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GEELONG free agent Steven Motlop has chosen Port Adelaide as his preferred new home ahead of Adelaide and Gold Coast.

Port lodged its official offer with the AFL on Friday afternoon, with Motlop understood to have agreed to a four-year deal worth about $500,000 a season.

Port had made the early running for Motlop this year but its bid for the Cats speedster came under serious threat when Gold Coast and Adelaide made late plays.

The Crows reportedly offered the 26-year-old about $600,000 a season, but Motlop chose to join the club where his brother Daniel played (83 games from 2006-11) and his cousin Marlon was also listed.

Those family ties were the main reason Motlop chose Port.

"He got along really well with (coach) Kenny Hinkley. He met with (captain) Travis Boak and was impressed with Travis, and a couple of other players," Motlop's manager Alex McDonald told NAB AFL Trade Radio on Friday.

"He's got family connections and ties – obviously Daniel played there at some point, so there's a bit of familiarity with the club.

"The Crows and Suns, they were very, very impressive and it was very difficult to split them all but I think that family connection was the telling factor."

Motlop is a restricted free agent so the Cats will have the right to match Port's offer.

But Geelong is not expected to do that, with Motlop's departure creating salary cap space that will allow the Cats to pursue Gary Ablett and other trade targets.

"All indicators are there shouldn't be any problems there and he'll be a Port player next year," McDonald said.

The Cats will also receive a free agency compensation pick that is likely to fall in the second round, at No.35 overall.

Winning Motlop's commitment continues an active trade period for the Power. They bolstered their midfield by securing former Lions captain Tom Rockliff as a free agent on Tuesday and are locked in a battle with Geelong for contracted Melbourne forward Jack Watts.

At his best, Motlop will add run and flair to Port's on-ball division, while he is also a proven goalkicker. His challenge will be to find the consistency that too often eluded him at Geelong.

Motlop was put up for trade last year after a disappointing 2016 season but remained with Geelong after generating little rival interest.

However, the 26-year-old was in demand this year, with West Coast another club that showed interest.

After debuting in 2010, Motlop played 135 games for Geelong and kicked 175 goals.

He finished second in the Cats' 2015 best and fairest award and was an All Australian nominee after kicking a career-high 44 goals in 2013.

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