THE WESTERN Bulldogs have made Chad Wingard their No.1 trade target and have enlisted the star's former Port Adelaide teammate Jackson Trengove to get the deal over the line.
AFL.com.au understands Trengove has been in communication with close friend Wingard over a potential move to Whitten Oval on a long-term multi-million dollar deal as soon as this season.
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Wingard and Trengove remain close friends with the pair playing at Alberton together before Trengove departed for the Dogs as a free agent at the end of 2017.
After seeing Trengove head east last year, Wingard provided a potential hint for the future.
Going to miss you brother @Jacksontrengove wish you the best and who knows one day we might kick the leather together again soon ✊✊— chad wingard (@chadwingard20) October 6, 2017
"Going to miss you brother @Jacksontrengove wish you the best and who knows one day we might kick the leather together again soon," Wingard tweeted.
The 25-year-old South Australian is understood to be happy at Port Adelaide, however a trade could be beneficial for the Power in a year before he becomes a free agent.
Speculation on Wingard's future continues a growing trend of players being targeted 12 months before becoming free agents.
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Similar to Fremantle's Lachie Neale, Gold Coast's Steven May and Greater Western Sydney's Dylan Shiel, a move for Wingard would allow the Power the upper hand in negotiations in 2018.
Any move in 2019 would leave them with AFL determined compensation, most likely a single first-round pick given Wingard could command more than $800,000 a season.
The Power haven't shied away from what will be an aggressive NAB AFL Trade Period starting in 17 days, chasing West Coast free agent Scott Lycett with a four-year deal and set to release Jared Polec to North Melbourne.
While insisting the contracted Wingard is a required player for 2019, Port Adelaide president David Koch last month said, "no one is off the trade table as far as we're concerned."
Already holding picks nine, 21 and 27 in this year's NAB AFL Draft, the Power are also likely to demand North Melbourne's pick 10 in any trade for Polec.
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Any trade for Wingard would likely need to involve at least the Dogs' first pick (currently No.6), meaning the Power would have three picks inside the first dozen and at least five picks inside the top 30.
The expected departures of free agents Luke Dahlhaus and Jordan Roughead, following retirements of Jack Redpath, Shane Biggs and Clay Smith, will give the Dogs room to move in the 2019 salary cap.
Restricted free agent Mitch Wallis is yet to put pen to paper on an extension and is being chased by a number of clubs with Brisbane leading the race.
Hawthorn, the club considered the Dogs' biggest rivals for Wingard should the Power choose to release him, could lean on 2017 recruit Jarman Impey to play a similar role to Trengove in their efforts to lure him away from Alberton.
Impey, Trengove and Wingard were described as inseparable in their time together at Port.
Impey's coach Alastair Clarkson is also a big fan of Wingard's, admitting in 2014 he would be No.1 player from a rival club he'd like to recruit if given the chance.
The pair then spent time together during the 2014 International Rules Series with Clarkson as coach and Wingard starring as Australia beat Ireland in Perth.