CLAYTON Oliver will remain at Melbourne in 2024 after meeting with coach Simon Goodwin on Thursday night.
Oliver's future had been the biggest story of the off-season to date after it became clear rival clubs believed it was possible to pry the superstar midfielder out of the Demons.
As reported on AFL.com.au and Continental Tyres AFL Trade Radio on Tuesday, rival clubs were weighing up what it would take to land Oliver, with Adelaide, Essendon, Geelong, St Kilda and Sydney emerging as those most interested.
Days of fevered speculation and reporting followed, before Oliver met with coach Simon Goodwin on Thursday evening. Rival clubs subsequently believed that Melbourne's interest in trading their four-time club champion had waned.
The Demons released a statement on Friday afternoon confirming that Oliver would stay with the club in 2024, continuing his seven-year contract.
"At no stage has the club entered discussions with any club regarding a trade for Clayton. Furthermore, Clayton has not requested a trade and will remain at the Melbourne Football Club," CEO Gary Pert said in a letter to members.
"The club has been aware of and supporting Clayton with his personal circumstances for some time and is committed to continuing to do so.
"While club leaders focus on the care and support Clayton needs, we also have a responsibility to uphold our strong club culture for the benefit of all our players and staff. We have a responsibility to ensure that everyone within the club is committed to meeting the expected behavioural standards of a player within an AFL high performance environment.
"Clayton understands what is expected of him as a professional athlete, as well as the standards and behaviours a Melbourne person is expected to uphold."
Oliver, 26, is a two-time winner of the AFLCA's Champion Player of the Year, a three-time All-Australian as well as a four-time winner of Melbourne's 'Bluey' Truscott Trophy for the club's best and fairest.
The club will hold its 2023 best and fairest count on Friday night.
Oliver has been remarkably durable until this season, playing 144 of a possible 145 games from round one, 2016 before missing 10 matches with a hamstring strain suffered against Port Adelaide in round 10.
He returned for Melbourne's finals series and was a strong performer despite the Demons losing both of their finals.