FREMANTLE wingman Bradley Hill has formally requested a trade to a Victorian club, with St Kilda leading the race for his signature.
However, the Dockers have stopped short of guaranteeing his return, saying they will act in the best interests of the club.
Hill is contracted until the end of 2021, while his brother Stephen has just signed a new two-year deal to remain at Fremantle.
Hill's partner was born in Melbourne and she is eager to move back home.
The 26-year-old won three premierships during his 95-game stint with the Hawks, but the Saints are among "two or three" clubs in the race for his services, according to his manager Colin Young.
"We did it (told the Dockers) quite early because you want to make sure the club knows what's going on," Young told SEN radio.
"So back in June-July we had a conversation with (football operations manager) Peter Bell that Brad, for family reasons, wants to move back to Melbourne.
"Obviously you like to keep that private and confidential, so I don't know how that snuck out.
"We've spoken to Brad about a few clubs and also looked at Fremantle's list to see what players they were looking for possibly in the trade that could facilitate a quick trade. We've got a couple in mind.
"We've had a conversation with St Kilda. I had a couple of chats with two or three clubs and then went back to Brad to see where that fits."
Bradley Hill tackles Saint Dan Hannebery during the two teams' clash in round 21. Picture: AFL Photos
Fremantle football boss Peter Bell said the club had been aware of Hill's plans for some time but had made no promises.
"During the latter part of the season Bradley advised the club of his intentions," general manager of football Peter Bell said.
"Bradley is a previous Doig Medal winner in 2017 and, at 26 years of age, completed a career best season in 2019, establishing himself as one of the elite wingmen in the competition.
"We have an understanding that Bradley wants to return to Victoria for family reasons. However, as a club when we consider the matter we will act in the best interests of our stakeholders."
Young said an announcement on Hill's club of choice could be made as early as next week.
But could it be Hawthorn?
"I wouldn't think so," Young said. "We're down the track with another club."