L-R: Esava Ratugolea, Lachie Schultz, Mabior Chol. Pictures: AFL Photos

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.

IT HAS already been a busy start to the player movement period.

A 10-year-high number of restricted and unrestricted free agents changed clubs in the free agency period – headlined by Ben McKay, Jade Gresham and Tom Doedee – and already 15 players have changed clubs as free agents or trades.


But there remains at least another 20 players still in trade discussions before Wednesday night's Continental Tyres AFL Trade Period deadline.

Here is the latest on all of the deals that are in play ahead of the final few days of clubs' wheeling and dealing. 

Jack Billings

Still contracted at St Kilda through until 2025, Billings has been starved of opportunity due to form and fitness issues. He has been open to a move, with the Saints likely to pay a portion of his deal if he finds a chance elsewhere. Collingwood held mild interest in Billings throughout the year, but remains locked in talks to secure Lachie Schultz from Fremantle as the club's main priority. He'll be hoping something progresses later in the window.

Jack Billings looks on during the R19 match between St Kilda and North Melbourne at Marvel Stadium on July 23, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

Mabior Chol

Chol has indicated he wants to take up Hawthorn's offer of a four-year contract, with a trigger for a fifth season. But, still contracted at Gold Coast until 2025, there remains a bit to play out. The Suns have asked for a future second-round pick, while the Hawks are more prepared to deal in third-round selections. The Hawks have since shown a willingness to get the Tigers involved in talks around a potential three-club trade, which could also progress Jacob Koschitzke's move to Richmond.

Mabior Chol looks on during the R24 match between Gold Coast and North Melbourne at Blundstone Arena on August 26, 2023. Picture: Getty Images/AFL Photos

Nick Coffield

Progress was made late in the week on a deal sending Coffield from St Kilda to the Western Bulldogs but it wasn't closed. The Saints have been looking for the Bulldogs' pick No.40 to be involved in the deal, with Coffield heading to the Bulldogs and other picks being involved. There is also a chance of more clubs being in the pick-swapping part of a deal. 

Nick Coffield during St Kilda training at RSEA Park on August 29, 2023. Picture: Getty Images/AFL Photos

Massimo D’Ambrosio

The young Bomber's hopes of getting to Hawthorn could be something that unfolds later in the trade period. The Bombers are caught up in deals for Brandon Zerk-Thatcher and Xavier Duursma, while the Hawks are trying to negotiate trades for Mabior Chol and Jacob Koschitzke. Expect this trade to go through with a later draft pick. 


Paddy Dow

The out-of-favour Dow has requested a trade to St Kilda, where he will take up a three-year offer. Carlton wants a return on the former No.3 pick, with discussions starting late last week around a potential four-club trade also involving Essendon and the Western Bulldogs. It would see Dow get to the Saints, Nick Coffield head to the Dogs, while the Blues and the Bombers would secure a swap of draft picks.

Paddy Dow celebrates a goal in Carlton's match against St Kilda in R21, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

Xavier Duursma

Has a four-year offer in front of him at Essendon, which is keen to add his running power to its midfield mix. With a year to go on his deal at Port Adelaide, the Power could hold him but he has requested a move to the Bombers and Duursma's move should help the Power bring in Brandon Zerk-Thatcher as a tall back. Essendon would look for a straight swap but other picks may switch hands. 


Orazio Fantasia

This one has time on its side, given it's likely to only involve a rookie contract. Fantasia met with Greater Western Sydney officials last week, including coach Adam Kingsley and football boss Jason McCartney, keen for an opportunity at a third club following 80 games at Essendon and 19 more recently at Port Adelaide. The Giants want experience in their rookie stocks and someone who can deliver some forward-half craft, so Fantasia fits the bill but could also remain at Port Adelaide. 

Orazio Fantasia celebrates a goal during the R2 match between Port Adelaide and Collingwood at the MCG on March 25, 2023. Picture: Getty Images/AFL Photos

Jack Gunston

A trade request that would see Gunston return to Hawthorn, following just one season at Brisbane, surprised both Hawks and Lions officials. The Hawks are caught up in trying to secure deals for Mabior Chol and Massimo D'Ambrosio, while sending Jacob Koschitzke to the Tigers. They will prioritise those moves, then assess both their draft hand and their list positions, before considering whether they can get Gunston over the line as well. As Gettable reported on Friday, former mid-season rookie Brandon Ryan looms as a possible target for the Lions in a Gunston trade. 


Sam Hayes

Hayes has been starved of opportunity at Port Adelaide, playing just 11 games in six seasons on the club's list, and is coming towards the end of his deal this year. He had some interest from various clubs throughout the season, but nothing has materialised just yet. He could appeal to clubs as a potential delisted free agent, or rookie option, having not yet been offered a new contract by the Power. He could also remain at Alberton, pending the club's success in upcoming deals for ruck duo Jordon Sweet and Ivan Soldo.

Sam Hayes during Port Adelaide's match against Gold Coast in R17, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

Liam Henry

Progress has been made on a deal for Henry, who has nominated St Kilda as his preferred destination. The Saints have not wanted to part with their early picks No.13 and 21, with the Dockers having been targeting an early-second round pick. The Saints could look to their future hand of selections, with a deal in the works. 

Liam Henry marks the ball during the R21 match between Fremantle and Brisbane at Optus Stadium on August 6, 2023. Picture: Getty Images/AFL Photos

Elijah Hollands

There is a bit to play out for the contracted Hollands to land at Carlton. He is unlikely to formally request a trade, but is open to a move. The Blues held discussions with Gold Coast on Friday, with the Suns looking to upgrade picks both this year and next as part of any of their upcoming deals. Talks are set to continue over the weekend, with Hollands just as comfortable seeing out a contract at the Suns that runs through until 2024. This is a genuine 50/50 to eventuate.


Elliott Himmelberg

There is a standoff in talks, given Adelaide had been hopeful of landing either Mabior Chol or Harrison Petty before letting the contracted Himmelberg leave. Expect discussions to resume before Wednesday, but Greater Western Sydney will need to produce an offer the Crows can't say no to. If there is no resolution, the Giants are likely to persist with veteran Lachie Keeffe for another season to bolster their key-position stocks.

Elliott Himmelberg (L) celebrates a goal with Darcy Fogarty and Sam Berry during the R20 match between Adelaide and Carlton at Adelaide Oval on July 30, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

Jacob Koschitzke

The Tigers quickly shut down the Hawks' hopes of landing a pick inside the top 25 for the key forward, who has requested a trade to Richmond. He's out of contract and keen to get to Punt Road. The Tigers hold picks 29, 50 and 68, with the Hawks having a number of deals in motion for the final days of the trade period. 

Jacob Koschitzke runs out before the R23 match between Hawthorn and Melbourne at the MCG on August 20, 2023. Picture: Getty Images/AFL Photos

Scott Lycett

Port Adelaide has made no secret of its desire to land both Ivan Soldo and Jordon Sweet during this year's trade period, leaving Lycett's position at the club uncertain. Geelong, North Melbourne and Collingwood had surveyed their ruck options earlier in the trade period, with Lycett yet to be offered a new deal by Port Adelaide.

Scott Lycett and Darcy Cameron in the ruck during the R19 match between Port Adelaide and Collingwood at Adelaide Oval on July 22, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

Shane McAdam

The Adelaide forward's trade request to Melbourne has seen the Crows target Harrison Petty for a return to South Australia, with the Crows keen to package McAdam and a first-round pick to attain the Demons tall. But the Demons aren't budging on Petty remaining at Melbourne and have put forward a future second-round pick (tied to the Demons) as their offer to Adelaide for the 50-game goalkicker. 


Bigoa Nyuon

The Richmond youngster looks likely to join North Melbourne, but the Roos didn't want to sign him as a free agent so not to risk any diluting of the compensation pick (No.3 overall) they received for Ben McKay's exit to Essendon. They can either trade in the versatile tall or wait and grab him in the pre-season draft but he looks headed to Arden Street. 

Bigoa Nyuon greets Richmond fans after his debut in the win over Hawthorn in round nine, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

Harrison Petty

Melbourne is adamant the contracted Petty is going nowhere, despite having a pull to return to South Australia. A contract that runs through until 2025 will make it difficult for Adelaide to wrench him out, but the Crows have a willingness to continue chasing him and have looked to bundle their early picks with the wantaway Shane McAdam to secure a deal. Expect the Demons to retain him.

Harrison Petty kicks a goal during the match between Melbourne and Richmond at the MCG in round six, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

Esava Ratugolea

Geelong rebuffed Port Adelaide's offer of pick 25 for the out-of-contract key defender, who wants to get to the Power for the second straight season. The Cats had been linked to young Power forward Ollie Lord however he is signed at Port Adelaide and won't be involved in the deal. This one looks likely to come down to the wire and if a deal isn't done, Ratugolea could head to the Power in the national draft. 

Esava Ratugolea marks the ball during Geelong's clash against Hawthorn in round four, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

Lachie Schultz

Collingwood had put its first pick this year – No.19 – on the trade table for Schultz but the Dockers have been eyeing the Magpies' future first-rounder. The Magpies would also likely add a pick sweetener to get the deal over the line, with the expectation something is sorted before Wednesday's deadline. The contracted Schultz has a five-year offer on the table from Collingwood – four years and a trigger for a fifth. 


Ivan Soldo

Port Adelaide remains interested in bringing Richmond premiership ruckman Soldo to the club as well as Western Bulldogs big man Jordon Sweet, and Soldo also remains interested in going. But so far Richmond has blocked any move on Soldo departing with a year to run on his contract at Punt Road. Would a future second-round pick tempt the Tigers?

Ivan Soldo looks on during the R23 match between Richmond and North Melbourne at the MCG on August 19, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

Jordon Sweet

Port Adelaide has lured the Western Bulldogs ruckman back home to Adelaide, with Sweet keen to join the Power after being Tim English's understudy. Is among the four targets Port is still hoping to land in coming days, with the Power having two picks – No.41 and 49 – that could be sent in return. Likely to be some discussions over which one ends up getting the deal done. 

Jordon Sweet at the Western Bulldogs training session at Whitten Oval, June 15, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

Brandon Zerk-Thatcher

Essendon's hopes of landing Xavier Duursma from Port Adelaide has meant the Zerk-Thatcher move to Alberton is likely to be tied up in the deal. While Essendon would be keen for a straight swap of players, Port Adelaide is likely to look for a swap of later draft picks, given Duursma is under contract for another season with the Power and the Bombers key back is not. 

Brandon Zerk-Thatcher in action during Essendon's clash with Geelong in round 18, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

Pick 1

North offered a package of four first-round picks for the Eagles' No.1 selection but West Coast quickly said no to the offer. But expect the Roos to keep on coming given their hand of five top-20 picks. Pick No.2 or 3 would have to be involved for the Roos to prise the No.1 pick and Harley Reid from the Eagles' grasp. The Eagles are likely to hold until close to the draft, given picks can be swapped until November 10 and then again on draft night, with Melbourne also expected to have a tilt at the top choice given their hand of picks No.6, 11 and a future first-rounder.