ST KILDA coach Alan Richardson has shut down speculation that star midfielder Jack Steven could be on the move to Geelong.
Reports emerged on Monday the Cats had launched a daring recruiting raid to snare Steven, who's contracted for another two years.
"No, we're really comfortable that Jack's not only staying with us but a really important part of driving what we're doing," Richardson said on Fox Footy.
"It would be irresponsible of Geelong, or any footy club, not to ask (the question).
"We're going to be aggressive and I imagine the Cats will, too – any team that is not where they want to be are going to be aggressive.
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"But Jack is a key part of what we're doing."
Geelong is still licking its wounds after an elimination final defeat to Melbourne that showed up several gaping holes in their line-up.
The Cats have been active in the trade period in recent years, with Patrick Dangerfield, Lachie Henderson, Zach Tuohy and Gary Ablett among the experienced talent they've brought in.
But Chris Scott, sitting opposite Richardson on Monday night's show, flatly denied his club was attempting to add the three-time best-and-fairest winner.
"I think it's very misleading to say that we're making a play for Jack Steven ... that's not true," Scott said.
"Managers and list managers have conversations at various times through the year but they would ask about hundreds of players.
"If there's some validity to (reports) of that question being asked (about Steven) I'm assuming it was answered pretty quickly (no) and that's that."
Richardson did confirm reports he'd been part of a fiery exit interview with a frustrated Steven following the Saints' disastrous four-win season.
However, the coach denied that was an indication Steven was eyeing an exit after a decade at the club.
"As a leader that cares about what we're doing and was frustrated at the year we had on the back of a couple of years heading the right way ... he just wanted to know what (the future) looks like," Richardson said.
"That had nothing to do with 'Give us a bit more information so I can make a decision about whether I'm staying'.
"This was, 'Can you give us a bit more detail on what it looks like going forward – I'm in and I'm going to drive it'."