BOMBER Orazio Fantasia has finally locked in a new manager and is set to request a trade home to South Australia in the coming days.
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Fantasia split from his most recent manager, Anthony McConville, a fortnight ago and has replaced him with Adelaide-based TLA Australia agent Michael Doughty.
There was a bidding war-of-sorts to win Fantasia's services, with several player managers presenting to him last week and others not even making it that far.
It's believed the 24-year-old forward, who is contracted for two more years, met with Doughty during his fleeting visit to Adelaide before he returned to Melbourne at the weekend.
AFL.com.au reported in July that Fantasia wanted to finish his AFL career playing for a South Australian club and that Port Adelaide was in the box seat in that scenario.
The Power remain his likeliest option, given his strong relationships with assistant coach Nathan Bassett and co-captain Tom Jonas, but the Crows have not ruled out trading for Fantasia.
The situation developed in recent times to the point Essendon was bracing for him to request a trade this year.
Port Adelaide football boss Chris Davies put his club's interest in Fantasia on the record last week on Telstra AFL Trade Radio.
The Power also has stronger trade chips to work with than Adelaide, including Dougal Howard and Sam Powell-Pepper, who are both of interest to the Bombers.
A draft pick is also likely to be part of any Port Adelaide trade for Fantasia.
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"It's hard (for the South Australian clubs). We obviously lose young players going back to Victoria, so we've got to make sure that when guys want to come home, we're in the market," Davies said.
"I haven't spoken to him, but he's in between managers, so I imagine once he's settled on who he is going to go with, then we'll be able to have a conversation with whoever his manager is.
"I know he has relationships with people at our club that pre-date his time at Essendon, but right now he's an Essendon player and he's got some time to think about what he wants to do."
Fantasia will undergo minor knee surgery on Tuesday, almost three weeks after a hip arthroscopy that was already going to delay his start to pre-season.
He isn't expected to be fit enough to join full training until at least January.
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