RIVAL clubs have upped the ante in their pursuit of Fremantle captain Nat Fyfe, with some signalling their preparedness to make long-term offers of close to $1.5 million a season.

Fyfe is set to become a restricted free agent at the end of this season and has yet to open contract talks with the Dockers, despite replacing David Mundy as captain last month. 

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The 2015 Brownlow medallist has said he sees his long-term future at Fremantle, but wants to focus in the early part of 2017 on his return from two left leg fractures.

Fyfe does not intend to talk to other clubs during this time, but that hasn't stopped some from contacting his management to discuss the tenure and salary they would be prepared to offer the two-time All Australian. 

Clubs cannot make official offers to Fyfe until the free agency period opens in October, but it's understood at least two clubs have made unofficial offers of nearly $1.5 million a season.

Those clubs' ability to fit Fyfe into their salary cap will be aided by the foreshadowed increase to TPP payments under the next CBA, with a rise of more than 10 per cent expected to take effect in 2017 once the AFL and AFLPA conclude their protracted negotiations.

The majority of rival interest in Fyfe comes from Victorian clubs, although one non-Victorian club is among his most ardent suitors. West Coast is not one of the clubs circling the West Australian.

Fyfe's decision won't purely come down to money. 

The 25-year-old is already extremely well paid at Freo – he is believed to have earned close to $1 million in 2016 despite being sidelined after round five – and spoke after his Brownlow win of his love for the club that drafted him at pick No.20 in the 2009 NAB AFL Draft.

Fyfe has taken a keen interest in Fremantle's list management in recent seasons and was buoyed by the club's fruitful 2016 trade period that netted Bradley Hill (Hawthorn), Cam McCarthy (Greater Western Sydney), Joel Hamling (Western Bulldogs) and Shane Kersten (Geelong).

However, the new skipper will be keen to see early signs in the home and away season that the Dockers' dismal 2016 – they finished 16th after winning just four games – was an aberration rather than the start of a long-term decline.

Nonetheless, Fremantle remains in a strong position to retain Fyfe. 

For starters, it is believed to have significant salary cap space and has the right to match any rival offers for the restricted free agent.

And the cost of retaining a player is usually considerably less than the cost of swaying someone to pull up anchor and sail off to a new club. If Fyfe decides to re-sign with Freo, about $1.2 million a year should get the deal done. 

Fyfe's approach this year is consistent with how he has conducted past contract negotiations, when he has delayed re-signing until late in the final season of his existing contract.

However, Fyfe said last month he might open talks with the Dockers earlier than usual if speculation about his future started having a negative impact on him, his teammates or Fremantle. 

"I'll monitor [the speculation] closely and if I feel at any point that it's affecting me, or more importantly the team or the club, then I'll look to do something pretty quickly," Fyfe said.