SYDNEY doesn't believe that Carlton's pursuit of Tom Papley will be linked with its own future move for Joe Daniher. Essendon might think otherwise.
The Bombers stressed on Monday that they were preparing to dig their heels in as they aimed to retain Daniher for season 2020.
However, they did it with the caveat that they would listen to all offers – a bid of dual top-10 picks from the Swans, which they might have at their disposal should they deal Papley to the Blues, could be enough to sway them.
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Daniher rocked Essendon on Saturday when he ended months of speculation and officially requested a trade to Sydney, citing lifestyle reasons for his desire to move.
But, with the talented 25-year-old contracted through to 2020, the Bombers are set to play hard ball in their efforts to block the Swans' pursuit of him.
"It's our intention to keep Joe," Essendon list manager Adrian Dodoro said.
"He's an All Australian centre-half forward and a best and fairest winner at our club. He's coming into the peak years of his footy.
"We've expressed to him and his management team that we'll be doing everything possible to keep him."
Sydney has pick No.5 to play with at the trade table, but could earn another first-round selection during the exchange period should it agree to part with Papley – who has been heavily linked with a move to Carlton.
That second top-10 pick, which could arrive at Sydney via a deal for Papley, could be enough to sway Essendon to deal Daniher.
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Indeed, even Dodoro suggested he would listen to and consider such an offer – even if he followed that sentiment by reiterating the club's initial and foremost intentions.
"This is the Trade Period," he said.
"You have to have an open mind to absolutely everything. But, right now as we sit here, our intention is for Joe to play for Essendon in 2020."
Sydney's interest in Daniher dates back to August, when it was reported that CEO Tom Harley met with the star forward for lunch.
However, the Swans were apprehensive to give too much away on Monday – saying the possibility remained that deals for both Daniher and Papley might not be reached this October.
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"Who knows?" Sydney head of football Charlie Gardiner laughed.
"It (the Daniher situation) has evolved fairly recently. What's important in all of this is to recognise that Joe is a contracted player at Essendon.
"If anything was to happen there, we'd obviously have to reach a deal with Essendon. We haven't had any discussions with them as yet, so we'll have to see how it plays out."
Sydney, though, doesn't believe Papley's wish to ultimately land at Carlton over the next fortnight will have any impact on its own ability to secure Daniher.
"We look at our list in an overall sense – the two certainly aren't linked," Gardiner said.
"We'd like to keep Tom. He's our leading goalkicker this year, finished fourth in our best and fairest and is a member of our leadership group. We rate him really highly. We don't like to see players like that go out the door.
"On the other side, Joe is also a really good player. He's expressed a desire to come to Sydney, which is pleasing. As a footy club, we're obligated to consider that.
"When a player of his calibre expresses an interest we're duty-bound to consider it. We'll look at all of that and see how we can get it done."
However, Carlton is still hopeful of landing Papley and is understood to be willing to move its first-round draft selection, currently pick No.9, in order to secure a deal.
That pick could subsequently prove crucial in helping Sydney land Daniher later down the line.
"Hopefully we have discussions with the Swans today," Blues list manager Stephen Silvagni said.
"It's only early days, but we'll see what we can do there.
"Nothing has been discussed, to be perfectly honest. I haven't met with the Swans, so hopefully we get a chance to do that today."
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