GEELONG coach Chris Scott won't speculate on the chances of Adelaide free agent Patrick Dangerfield joining the Cats in 2016 ahead of their clash with the Crows on Sunday.
Scott said on Tuesday he understood that Adelaide supporters would be disappointed if they lost a key player and emphasised that Geelong was not driving the discussion linking the club to several out of contract players from other clubs.
"It is unfortunate from our perspective we seem to be the ones linked not only with Paddy, but a range of players," Scott said.
"As we have done all season we'll keep being disciplined with our responses.
"We empathise with the way they feel, [and] because of that it's important we don't add any more fuel to the fire."
Dangerfield is a key reason why the Crows have been a dominant clearance and contested ball team under Phil Walsh, in contrast to the Cats who have battled for consistency in these areas.
Scott said the Cats had to at least match the Crows around the ball to be a realistic chance of winning this weekend's clash at Adelaide Oval.
"If you just get killed around the ball you're defending from the back third all the time, you tend to be in trouble," Scott said.
"We have to think of ways to perform better in that area."
The Cats hope Jimmy Bartel and James Kelly will be available to strengthen their presence around the ball and Scott said he was optimistic Jordan Murdoch would play, despite an initial prognosis that he would miss two weeks with a hamstring injury.
Scott said Bartel would be more likely to play seniors immediately if fit rather than being eased back through the VFL and the coach had a preference to play a specialist ruckman.
With Mitch Clark still unavailable due to a calf injury, that only leaves Dawson Simpson. Simpson played VFL in the week before the bye.
"We've been really clear that we think [Josh] Walker and [Mark] Blicavs can give us something a little bit different, but in a perfect world we'd have a number of really big, fit and in-form ruckmen," Scott said.
"We've got to make the call this week as to whether the potential players we bring in fit that criteria."