MELBOURNE is confident of re-signing Angus Brayshaw in the near future despite the high draft pick's breakout season putting him on the radar of rival clubs.
The No.3 NAB AFL Draft selection from 2014 remains out of contract after a run of form this season that has him averaging nearly 27 disposals over 14 games.
There have been recent reports linking Brayshaw with North Melbourne, St Kilda, Carlton and West Coast.
However, Melbourne football manager Josh Mahoney said on Monday morning Brayshaw had given no indication he was thinking about leaving the club and had only said "good things" about staying.
ANGUS' ANGUISH 'I wasn't the best teammate'
"We're really happy with how it's going at the moment," Mahoney told SEN.
"We both decided we wanted to see him play a bit more footy … to Angus' credit, he's performed the way we thought he would when we took him so high in the draft and it's probably worked in his favour holding off [signing] in this occasion.
"We're really happy with how it's going and we don't think we're far away from getting something done now."
Meanwhile, the Demons have penciled in their round 21 clash with Sydney as a return date for key players Jack Viney and Michael Hibberd.
Viney hasn't played since round 16 after being a late withdrawal from their clash with the Western Bulldogs with the early signs of stress in the toe that kept him out of the opening eight rounds.
Hibberd hurt his quad at training last Wednesday and missed the Demons' heart-stopping loss to Geelong on Saturday night.
"They won't play this week, but Jack is progressing well, he'll start running at the end of this week," Mahoney said.
"He's had a period of rest now and he'll start running … we're aiming for him to be available or the Sydney game in a couple of weeks.
"We just have to make sure we get this one right, he's such an important player for us and we hope that if he's ready for then, he'll get a good run into the last three games.
"Michael is, at this stage, on the same time frame. His was an injury late in the training session so we're still trying to get a bit more information, but we think that's probably the time line for both of those guys."
Mahoney confirmed there was no crack in Viney's toe and said the important midfielder had been kept out because of an "indication" in his problematic foot.
The Demons are poised to press the AFL this week for clarification on the ruck nomination rule after Brayshaw was penalised on Saturday night for tackling Patrick Dangerfield.
Dangerfield nominated for a ruck duel with Max Gawn but Brayshaw – who wears a helmet – didn't hear the midfielder's unusual declaration and tackled him.
"We'll ask the question but I'm expecting the response will be, that's the rule and the rule is the player nominates and if he gets blocked, it's a free kick against," Mahoney said.
"We're not expecting too much from the AFL on that.
"We do have a question about how loud the umpire was in letting everyone know and is it in the spirit of the game? That's the main thing.
"But the rule's the rule, a free kick was paid."
While Mahoney didn't focus on Brayshaw being disadvantaged because of his helmet, he claimed it was "definitely harder for Angus to hear" on the field.