ESSENDON is giving Joe Daniher space as he considers his future, but the Bombers haven't given up on keeping the star forward as a trade to Sydney looms.
The Swans are interested in luring the Bombers goalkicker after two injury-riddled seasons at Tullamarine battling osteitis pubis.
Daniher is contracted until the end of next year, when he will become a free agent, but is weighing up a move away from the Bombers.
The 25-year-old met with Sydney chief executive Tom Harley during the season, and the Swans are keen to land him during the upcoming Trade Period.
But Essendon chief executive Xavier Campbell said on Tuesday that the Bombers are hopeful the spearhead will remain at the club.
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"Joe's contracted, so it's a pretty good starting point, but Joe's coming through a pretty challenging two-year period," Campbell said.
"I'd love to think he's going to be here, there's ongoing discussions with Joe and his group."
Daniher's teammate and close friend Zach Merrett said last week that the 2017 Virgin Australia AFL All Australian and best and fairest winner was taking some time to figure out his future. Campbell said the club was supportive of that.
"I trust Joe – we trust Joe – about the rationale and the time he's taken at the moment to understand where he sits on things. We support him," he said.
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Essendon announced on Tuesday that coach John Worsfold will hand over the senior role to Ben Rutten at the end of next year.
"Joe's sitting back and looking at where he's got to from an injury perspective, and what he wants to get out of his football moving forward," Campbell said.
"We want to give him space. We're a club that supports its players to be themselves and we really value what he does, and he knows that we know how difficult that period has been for him.
"And we would love to have him playing [for Essendon] next year. I probably expect him to be playing at Essendon next year, but we're just going through a process now and we'll have another discussion with Joe next week."
Worsfold says he has kept regular contact with Daniher since Essendon's season finished, as the 104-gamer continues his rehabilitation from groin surgery at the club.
"Joe's a contracted player, we want him playing for Essendon next year. Nothing else has happened … it's all just speculation what [he and Tom Harley] spoke about, and what that means for his future," he said.
"Would Joe like being out of the limelight? Who knows except Joe. We will deal with it as it comes. At the moment Joe is a contracted player and there is nothing else out there."