AFL.com.au presents Inside Trading, with breaking news and the best analysis of the AFL trade landscape covering contracts, re-signings, free agents, the AFL Draft and industry insights.
PIES, DEES JOSTLE FOR PICK
COLLINGWOOD and Melbourne are set for a trade battle – this time for Sydney's pick 25 as both clubs eye it for their departing players.
The Swans are keen to land Magpies midfielder Taylor Adams and Demons ruckman Brodie Grundy this Trade Period, with both under contract at their clubs.
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The Pies and Demons are both set to push for the Swans' pick No.25 to be a part of their respective deals as Sydney aims to land the former Collingwood teammates.
Sydney also holds pick No.33, which it is expected to put forward as part of the Grundy deal, with the Swans also aiming to get the Adams deal across the line. Adams has a year to run on his deal at Collingwood but has been offered a three-year deal by the Swans.
Collingwood's interest in the Swans' first second-round selection would also give it a stronger hand to bring in Fremantle's Lachie Schultz, while the Demons are looking to climb up the draft board with their hand, which already includes two first-round picks.
"Taylor is contracted, as is Brodie, and we'll have to work with Collingwood and Melbourne on those, but we've got the youngest midfield group [in the competition] and that's with (Callum) Mills and (Luke) Parker in there," Swans football boss Charlie Gardiner told Continental Tyres AFL Trade Radio on Monday.
"We think we've got a really good group in there but they need some support and hence why we're going down this path. We're pleased we can be a bit more active than we have been the past couple of years."
Melbourne on Tuesday traded James Harmes to the Western Bulldogs on a three-year deal, picking up a future third-round selection (tied to the Dogs) in exchange. – Callum Twomey
SAINT SET FOR NEW DEAL
ST KILDA midfielder Hunter Clark is expected to stay at the Saints on a two-year deal despite remaining unsigned in the Trade Period.
Clark has been offered a deal through to the end of 2025, with the view he is heading towards re-signing at the Saints.
The 24-year-old played 19 games for the Saints this season under coach Ross Lyon after having interest from North Melbourne in last year's Trade Period.
Another two years would take Clark through to free agency, having been a top-10 pick at the 2017 draft. The courageous midfielder has played 87 games across his career.
His fellow top-10 choice from the Saints that season – Nick Coffield – has requested a trade to the Western Bulldogs. – Callum Twomey
NORTH'S DRAFT DECISION
NORTH Melbourne will now decide its next move in its bid for Harley Reid and the No.1 pick this year after its Ben McKay compensation selection was officially awarded at No.3 on Tuesday.
The long-held view that McKay would bring in No.3 pick for the Roos was confirmed with his move to Essendon, which leaves the Kangaroos with selections 2, 3, 15 and 21 this year as well as their own first-round pick next year and two end-of-first round picks in 2024.
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The Roos are battling Adelaide and Melbourne for Gold Coast's pick 11, which could see them in a strong position to make a play for the Eagles' top choice.
West Coast will put a high price on shifting back down the order, with Reid being hunted by North and Hawthorn. Inside Trading reported last week the Roos had made a target of the top choice.
But should the Eagles hold at No.1 and take Reid, the Roos will have two top-four picks for the second consecutive year, with the club linked to Tasmanian midfielder Colby McKercher and Gippsland star Zane Duursma, with the Hawks having also been linked to Duursma and small forward Nick Watson.
Watson and gun midfielder Ryley Sanders are likely to come under consideration for the Western Bulldogs' top selection, while Melbourne next could have Daniel Curtin and forward Nate Caddy in the mix. Tall defender Connor O'Sullivan is expected to be in the next group and could be an option for Greater Western Sydney with its top-10 pick. – Callum Twomey
PORT FORWARD UNDERGOES MEDICAL
OUT-OF-CONTRACT small forward Orazio Fantasia has undergone a medical with Greater Western Sydney as he looks to extend his AFL career.
The 28-year-old is yet to secure a new deal at Port Adelaide after managing just four appearances across the past two seasons for a total of 19 games since moving from Essendon at the end of 2020.
Greater Western Sydney has met with Fantasia, but the Giants aren't expected to have any list spots available to trade for him or sign him as a delisted free agent at the start of November, with the club interested in adding a mature-age player via the Rookie Draft.
The Giants have regularly explored recycled players in the past, striking gold with Matt de Boer, Lachie Keeffe and Sam Reid, as well as providing Tommy Sheridan, Dylan Buckley and Tendai Mzungu with a second chance.
Fantasia worked with GWS assistant coach Brett Montgomery at Alberton and would provide small forward coverage behind Brent Daniels and Toby Bedford, following the retirement of Daniel Lloyd at the end of the season.
The South Australian has been plagued by injury issues across his career, playing more than 15 games in a season only twice across his decade at Essendon and Port Adelaide, but is keen to continue his AFL career.
Keeffe was the only uncontracted player to feature in the preliminary final loss to Collingwood last month and could go around again if Adelaide holds Elliott Himmelberg to his contract, after the Crows missed out on Mabior Chol.
After playing a career-high 18 games last year, Keeffe featured 14 times under Adam Kingsley in 2023 and despite turning 34 next year is keen to play on. – Josh Gabelich
PIES TO HOLD YOUNGSTER
COLLINGWOOD is set to retain youngster Fin Macrae and plans to hand him additional midfield minutes next season, after he attracted interest from rival clubs throughout the year.
Macrae is contracted for 2024 but made just one senior appearance in the club's premiership campaign this season, having started its round 24 victory over Essendon as the tactical substitute.
But with veteran midfielder Taylor Adams requesting a trade to Sydney over the weekend, Collingwood has made it clear to Macrae that he is a required player and will earn his chance in the senior team next season.
Macrae, who has played 12 games in three years on the club's list, was a former first-round pick for the Pies, with their head of football Graham Wright declaring their stance on the 20-year-old's situation earlier this week.
"We see Fin as being a part of what we're doing," Wright said on Monday.
"We've been really strong with him and his management that he's a contracted player and we see him being part of what our future looks like. We've got a few guys in the midfield getting a bit older and we see opportunity for Fin.
"It's a little bit about patience, too, and waiting for that opportunity. But he has been (patient) up until this stage. He's been an outstanding teammate and someone who was part of our emergencies on Grand Final day." – Riley Beveridge
ROOS PAIR FACE UNCERTAIN WAIT
NORTH Melbourne pair Aiden Bonar and Jack Mahony remain in limbo during the Trade Period without contracts for next year.
The Kangaroos have made a number of list changes already, with Flynn Perez, Lachie Young, Phoenix Spicer and Jacob Edwards delisted. Ben Cunnington, Jack Ziebell, Aaron Hall and Daniel Howe have retired.
But no call has been made on Bonar and Mahony, with the pair, alongside veteran Kayne Turner, in a holding pattern as the Roos get through their Trade Period.
Bonar, the No.11 pick from the 2017 draft, was traded from Greater Western Sydney to the Kangaroos at the end of the 2019 season. He has played 34 games across his career.
Mahony was drafted by the Roos in 2019. As Inside Trading reported last week, Turner will have to bide his time before a decision is made on a list spot for him. – Callum Twomey