MELBOURNE is closing in on landing Fremantle target Ed Langdon as it sets up its new-look midfield for 2020.
The Demons' long interest in the talented wingman is set to come to fruition with the deal close to being confirmed as the end of the first week of the Telstra AFL Trade Period draws near.
AFL.com.au understands the Demons' second-round pick this year (No.22 overall) will be involved in the deal to secure the 23-year-old.
It looms as a coup for Melbourne, which earlier this week signed free agent Adam Tomlinson, who is also expected to play in the midfield after being used all over the field throughout his Greater Western Sydney career.
Langdon, who has played all bar one game for the Dockers over the past two years and averaged 25 disposals in 2019, was drafted from Victoria in 2014.
He has developed into one of the competition's hard-running midfielders, and also met with Essendon as he weighed a move away from Fremantle.
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Melbourne is also edging towards a deal that sends Sam Frost to Hawthorn.
The out-of-contract key defender nominated the Hawks as his preferred new home and a deal is expected to soon be finalised.
He played all 22 games for the Demons this season and finished eighth in the club's best and fairest. - Callum Twomey
Dockers' surprise at Saints setback
Fremantle is preparing to re-enter trade negotiations with St Kilda about wantaway winger Bradley Hill despite a setback on Thursday.
The Saints chose to 'split' their prized No.6 draft selection – along with pick 59 – for Greater Western Sydney's Nos.12 and 18 in a fascinating development.
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The Dockers had long stated that top-10 selection must be involved in any deal for Hill but they will now almost certainly have to settle for No.12 as the highest choice.
However, it wasn't St Kilda's eventual pick swap that surprised them but rather the timing of it, with six days still to run in the Telstra AFL Trade Period.
Fremantle was steadfast on wanting the Saints' No.6 pick, as well as next year's first-round and third-round selections – while sending more than just Hill to Moorabbin in such a deal.
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St Kilda's response was to engage in a trade with the Giants.
Hill is still desperate to get back to Victoria, where his girlfriend is from and he won three premierships as a Hawk.
The Saints don't want to give up their future first-round selection, which they plan to use in 12 months' time to try to reunite Sun Ben King with his twin brother Max.
The other interesting sub-plot here is the Dockers' Next Generation Academy prospect Liam Henry, who could attract a rival bid before pick 12.
Henry was ranked No.15 in AFL.com.au's most-recent Phantom Form Guide.
It would be a major blow if an opposition club lodged a bid for him between Fremantle's current top selection (No.7) and whatever the Hill compensation ends up being. – Marc McGowan
Lions closing in on Ah Chee
Gold Coast is chasing Brisbane's pick No.21 in exchange for speedy defender Callum Ah Chee.
The Lions have offered Ah Chee a long-term deal at the club and prised him out of their crosstown rivals after an injury-riddled year.
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But there remains a gap between the parties, with the Suns wanting the Lions' early second-round pick for the 22-year-old.
Brisbane, however, has so far offered its later second-round pick – No.34 – to land Ah Chee.
Talks were expected to gain pace through the early stages of the Telstra AFL Trade Period but have stalled.
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Pick 21 was originally Gold Coast's pick, having traded it last year to the Lions.
Under AFL rules, clubs are unable to trade picks back to the club from which they came in direct deals.
However, given last year's pick was traded as a future selection, and the Suns and Lions engaged in the trade not knowing exactly where it would land, it can be sent back to Gold Coast in this scenario.
Ah Chee was pick No.8 at the 2015 NAB AFL Draft, and has managed 45 games in four years at the Suns. He made only one senior appearance this year.
The Lions have targeted him to add some speed and dash to their half-back line, identifying the West Australian for his class and composure.
Brisbane list manager Dom Ambrogio was the Suns' recruiting manager when Gold Coast selected Ah Chee with the top-10 pick. - Callum Twomey
'Saucy' deal on the way
Greater Western Sydney will be forced to complete a trade for Sam Jacobs, rather than bring the veteran Adelaide ruckman to the club via free agency.
The Giants were informed by the AFL this week that the compensation package delivered to them courtesy of Adam Tomlinson's departure would be shifted from the second round of the NAB AFL Draft to the third round, should Jacobs arrive as a free agent.
The club was handed pick No.40 as compensation for losing Tomlinson to Melbourne as a free agent earlier this week, but risked that selection becoming pick No.58 if it signed Jacobs.
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That is due to the compensation packages delivered to clubs by the AFL being dependent on the totality of what any team loses and gains throughout the free agency period.
GWS will now set about negotiating a trade with Adelaide for Jacobs ahead of next Wednesday's deadline, having already agreed to a two-year deal with the 31-year-old.
The Giants have picks No.6, 40, 59, 60, 80 and 94 to work with. – Riley Beveridge
Free agency period shuts
St Kilda's Jack Newnes was the highest-profile free agent left on the shelf as the Free Agency window closed on Thursday afternoon.
Newnes, a restricted free agent, has had a two-year deal on the table at Moorabbin for several weeks but had been canvassing interest from rival clubs up until this week.
Now with Thursday's closure, Newnes' only way out of the Saints would be as a trade next week or as a delisted free agent beyond that, if he decides not to accept the Saints' offer.
Hawthorn premiership pair Ryan Schoenmakers and Paul Puopolo will need to wait until post-Trade Period to learn their next move after both went through unsigned. The Hawks have told the duo they aren't guaranteed contract extensions.
Other free agents that remain in limbo include Brisbane pair Ryan Lester and Ryan Bastinac, Richmond premiership forward Jacob Townsend, Swan Daniel Menzel and Western Bulldogs' Tory Dickson and Fletcher Roberts. – Mitch Cleary
In other news
- The eventful trade saga involving Orazio Fantasia has reached a surprising conclusion, with the Essendon gun officially informing Port Adelaide that he will not be requesting a trade this month. His decision to stay at the Bombers has stunned Power officials.
- Brisbane has secured the services of Hawthorn's four-time premiership defender Grant Birchall, luring him to the Gabba as a free agent. Birchall had offers to remain at the Hawks, as well as to join the Suns.
- Gold Coast ruckman Tom Nicholls has announced his retirement, ending a 10-year career with the club after he was signed as an underage player ahead of its first season.
- Gold Coast has signed 20-year-old Irish prospect Luke Towey, hoping its new Category B rookie can replicate the success of fellow countryman Pearce Hanley.
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