JAMES Aish has given the Brisbane Lions a glimmer of hope he might extend his stay at the Gabba.
Out-of-contract Aish has been widely tipped to leave the Lions after failing to take up a three-year deal offered by the club for most of this year.
However, the Lions are becoming quietly confident the 19-year-old might have a change of heart and remain in Brisbane for 2016 and beyond.
Speaking on SEN on Saturday, Lions CEO Greg Swann said Aish was genuinely weighing up his future.
"He came to our best and fairest, he went to Mad Monday, he came and got his program for the off-season," Swann said.
"We're not sure at the minute what James is doing. I think he's genuinely still weighing up what he wants to do.
"I suppose we may have misread it early that because he didn't sign, we automatically assumed he was going, but in having some discussions with him, I think he is still considering the options he's got.
"We're hopeful he'll stay."
Aish is reported to have attracted interest from a number of clubs, led by Collingwood.
While Aish's immediate future is up in the air, Swann is confident rugged Carlton midfielder Tom Bell will ask for a return to Queensland.
"Tom Bell we think will maybe make a request to come home, but he's contracted," Swann said.
The Lions have continued to put the foot down on their own contracted players rumoured to be looking elsewhere.
Swann said: "we're not going to let people walk out willy-nilly", including ruckman Stefan Martin and young half-forward Sam Mayes, who would both be at the club in 2016.
Speaking on ABC Radio, talent acquisition and retention manager Peter Schwab said midfielder Jack Redden was also no certainty to leave, despite formally asking to be traded.
"He is a contracted player, so from our point of view, the deal would have to be clearly in our favour, otherwise what's the point of doing it?" Schwab said.
Schwab also confirmed the Lions had dropped out of the running to secure Hawthorn's unrestricted free agent Matt Suckling.