ADELAIDE and Geelong have confirmed they were among clubs that explored the possibility of a blockbuster trade for Melbourne star Clayton Oliver before talks were shut down by Melbourne late last week.
It was revealed last week by AFL.com.au that clubs were weighing up whether to make a play for Oliver and considering the cost of a trade attempt for the four-time club champion, who endured a difficult 2023 season.
It was later revealed that Oliver had been challenged by the Demons on his professionalism, with the club confirming in a statement it had "been aware of and supporting Clayton with his personal circumstances for some time and is committed to continuing to do so".
While Melbourne never entered trade negotiations with a rival club or fielded a request from Oliver himself, the Crows and Cats each confirmed they had considered a trade approach for the midfield star.
"We were having a good look at everything. I often speak at being open for business, and that is a situation where we're open for business," Geelong head of football Andrew Mackie told Continental Tyres AFL Trade Radio on Monday.
"You look at lots of different players and opportunities to improve your playing list. He's a player that would do that."
Adelaide list boss Justin Reid said the Crows had also explored what a trade for Oliver could look like, albeit their discussions were short-lived.
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"Not too far," he said when asked on Continental Tyres AFL Trade Radio how far the discussions had progressed. "That was between Melbourne and Clayton, so obviously there are certain things you explore. But unless another party is a willing participant, you kind of move on pretty quickly."
Melbourne shut down any prospect of Oliver leaving late last week in a message to members from chief executive Gary Pert, who said: "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".
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Coach Simon Goodwin then made a pointed reference at the club's culture at its best and fairest and said the Demons would be "uncompromising" in maintaining and building that culture while driving standards.
Speaking on Continental Tyres AFL Trade Radio on Monday, Demons list manager Tim Lamb said the club was "in a really good spot" with Oliver following the challenging week of trade talk.
"We're committed to Clayton, Clayton's committed to us, and he’ll be a Melbourne player," Lamb said.
"Clayton and Simon have an unbelievable relationship and always have and always will have. Clayton knows how much the club love and support him, and his commitment to us is unwavering. "
In other potential trade deals involving Melbourne, Lamb confirmed that key position player Harrison Petty would remain at Melbourne next year, while the club was hopeful deals for Adelaide forward Shane McAdam and Brisbane tall Tom Fullarton would be thrashed out.
The list boss was tight-lipped on what picks could be involved to facilitate ruckman Brodie Grundy's move to Sydney. The Demons were open to contracted midfielder James Harmes moving for more opportunity.