ST KILDA will continue to monitor an ongoing knee injury being managed by trade target Bradley Hill as the Saints ramp up negotiations to land the playmaker at Moorabbin.
The Saints have won a commitment for Hill to arrive on a long-term deal worth around $900,000 per season and continued talks with his current club Fremantle on Monday.
Hill's medical testing at the Saints discovered a knee complaint that was carried throughout 2019 – despite the 26-year-old playing all 22 matches in purple.
Scans later confirmed Hill was playing through meniscus damage that will be watched closely over the early parts of pre-season should he join the club.
The Saints are comfortable with the status of the injury and it made no impact to the deal put forward to Hill.
St Kilda confirmed on Monday it had already put an offer to Fremantle for Hill that will almost certainly include pick No.6 heading west.
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"We're realistic that he's got two years to go (on his Dockers contract) and he's a pretty good player so we're not going to mess around and nickel-and-dime too much," Saints head of football Simon Lethlean told Telstra Trade Radio on Monday morning.
"He's a valuable player for Freo and I think our conversations with Freo will confirm we think he'll be very valuable for us too.
"I'm hopeful we can get that one done but there's other parts that come into these conversations."
Lethlean's Fremantle counterpart Peter Bell said the Dockers wouldn't be letting Hill go cheaply.
"We've had numerous discussions, myself and our list management with their (Saints) list management," Bell said on Monday.
"Brad's an exceptional player, clearly, they've made a really strong offer to him, they've made that in the knowledge he's got two years to run on his existing contract with us.
"He's as athletically gifted a player as you're going to find in the AFL, he does some things that not many other players can do. We'll work through that with the Saints."
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Hill finished third in the Dockers' Doig Medal on Saturday night behind Nat Fyfe and Michael Walters.
Elliott out … Butler in?
In-demand free agent Jamie Elliott will be a Pie or a Lion in 2020, notifying Melbourne at the weekend that he isn't going to choose the Demons.
Elliott would have filled a genuine need for Melbourne, which could do with a small forward upgrade.
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The Demons used Charlie Spargo and Jeff Garlett at different stages, while the likes of Christian Petracca, Jake Melksham, Jayden Hunt and Alex Neal-Bullen were also deployed there.
Petracca and Hunt were Melbourne's leading goalkickers this season with just 22 and 21, respectively.
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With the Dees out of the Elliott race, the next-best cheap options on the trade market are Tiger Dan Butler or Port Adelaide's Sam Gray, who have both piqued the interest of Carlton and St Kilda.
Having said that, Blues list boss Stephen Silvagni and list manager Michael Agresta didn't appear to be on the same page on Monday when separately discussing Butler.
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Silvagni said Butler was at this stage "not in the picture", whereas Agresta told Telstra AFL Trade Radio there was still "some" interest in him.
Swan Tom Papley has also indicated a desire to return to Victoria but has nominated Carlton as his preferred destination, while Eddie Betts is also headed for Ikon Park.
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Melbourne football boss Josh Mahoney didn't rule out using the money set aside for Elliott elsewhere but said there would be other priorities first.
Free agent Adam Tomlinson signed with the Demons on Monday and now they will focus on completing a deal for Docker Ed Langdon.
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Mahoney's Hawthorn counterpart Graham Wright said on Monday the Hawks were also open to bringing a small forward in "but it depends who's available".
They've told veteran Paul Puopolo and ex-Saint Darren Minchington they'll have to wait until after the Trade Period to find out their playing futures.
In other news:
- Sydney believes its pursuit of Joe Daniher won't be dependent on a deal with Carlton for wantaway contracted forward Tom Papley. With the Bombers preparing to dig their heels in on Daniher, Swans head of football Charlie Gardiner conceded there was a possibility both deals fall through.
- According to St Kilda, it will take more than pick 32 to pull contracted Saints forward Josh Bruce out this season. The Dogs have a four-year offer on the table for the 27-year-old.
- With 12 months until the 2020 Telstra AFL Trade Period, the Saints have already started the ball rolling on pairing Gold Coast youngster Ben King with brother Max at Moorabbin.
- North Melbourne and St Kilda confirmed their interest in contract Port Adelaide swingman Dougal Howard who is "weighing up his options" at Alberton.
- Fremantle is yet to give up hope on getting new senior coach Justin Longmuir in front of homesick Cat Tim Kelly, despite West Coast being Kelly's club of choice.
- Four-time premiership Hawk Grant Birchall remains in the dark over his playing future, with Brisbane continuing to monitor the progress of any deal he receives at Waverley Park.
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