CHRIS Dawes' heart is set on playing on with Melbourne next season, but a few opposition clubs have signalled their interest in the uncontracted key forward in the event he departs the Demons.

The lucrative four-year deal Dawes signed when he crossed from Collingwood in the 2012 trade period is set to expire at the end of this year.

Although Melbourne's season finishes with Saturday's clash against Geelong at Simonds Stadium, Dawes' future at the club is unlikely to become clear for several weeks as the Demons grapple with the make-up of their 2017 list ahead of October's free agency and trade periods.

However, the 28-year-old is confident he has overcome the injury problems that dogged his first three seasons at Melbourne – when he selflessly played not fully fit at times because of the Demons' lack of forward-line options – and has at least two to three years of good football left in him.

Dawes is also prepared to take a sizeable pay cut, with any new deal likely to be worth about half of his existing salary and highly performance-based.

If Dawes and Melbourne cannot agree to terms, the spearhead is understood to be on the radar of a few opposition clubs, who could wait to pick him up as a delisted free agent.

Dawes' manager, Ben Niall of Scopo Management, told on Wednesday his client remained hopeful of playing on at Melbourne.

"We remain in conversations with the club and are hopeful Chris will be at Melbourne next year, but there are no guarantees," Niall said.

"Chris has definitely got his body right now and is on a better training program that should mean he is more durable.

"Having put in the hard yards at Melbourne, Chris wants to be part of it now the club is tracking in the right direction.

"He knows he will have to prove himself next year, but he's up for the challenge."

Dawes had a delayed start to 2016 because of a calf injury, but has largely enjoyed a good run of health since he returned to the field with Melbourne's VFL team in early May.

The former Magpie has played six senior games in that time, his most recent coming in round 19 against Gold Coast.

Given Melbourne's tall forward options now include Jesse Hogan, Jack Watts, Cameron Pedersen and first-year spearhead Sam Weideman, Dawes accepts that if he remains at the club next season he will have fight for a senior berth and could spend time in the VFL.

However, he is confident he can play a valuable role as a second or third forward who can swing into the ruck.

Dawes' experience over 10 AFL seasons means he is also well placed to mentor young Demons Hogan, 21, and Weideman, 19.

Dawes has played 50 games and kicked 47 goals with Melbourne, having kicked 83 goals from 71 games with Collingwood from 2007-12.

He played in all of the Magpies' 10 finals from 2010-12, including the 2010 and 2011 Grand Finals.