ST KILDA and Fremantle are at a stalemate on Brad Hill, with the Dockers asking for the Saints' 2020 first-round selection to be part of the deal – on top of this year's pick six.
Making this development more interesting is St Kilda would almost certainly require that selection next year to wrench Ben King from Gold Coast, as football boss Simon Lethlean foreshadowed.
The Saints are amid a hectic Telstra AFL Trade Period, with Zak Jones, Paddy Ryder and Dougal Howard also nominating them as their preferred trade landing point.
Jack Steven (Geelong) and Josh Bruce (Western Bulldogs) are looking to depart.
The narrative to this stage was whether Hill's career-best year, on top of him having two seasons left on the five-year deal he signed to leave Hawthorn, warranted St Kilda trading its prized top-10 selection.
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The Saints were open to 'splitting' that pick to instead have dual first-round choices but Fremantle was adamant No.6 had to make its way west if Hill was Moorabbin-bound.
Dockers football boss Peter Bell hinted there would be rigorous negotiations between the clubs about the 26-year-old when he spoke on the opening day of the Telstra AFL Trade Period.
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"We've had numerous discussions – myself and our list management – with their list management," Bell said on Monday.
"Brad's an exceptional player, clearly, and they've made a really strong offer to him and they've made that in the knowledge he has two years to run on his existing contract with us.
"He's athletically as gifted a player as you're going to find in the AFL and does things not many other players can do, so we'll work through that with the Saints."
Hill averaged a personal-high 25.1 disposals, almost 500 metres gained and six score involvements in finishing third in Fremantle's best and fairest behind All Australians Nat Fyfe and Michael Walters.
Hill's manager, Colin Young, of Corporate Sports Australia, told AFL.com.au in July that several Victorian clubs had enquired about his contracted client.
AFL.com.au then reported in mid-August the Saints were preparing to offer star wingman Hill, a triple premiership-winning ex-Hawk, up to $900,000 per season.
The younger brother of fellow Docker Stephen Hill officially requested a trade to St Kilda only weeks later.
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