THE SYDNEY Swans are "really close" to locking away star midfielder Luke Parker via a contract extension.
Parker, 23, attracted attention from every club at the end of last season, when it was rumoured the Victorian might depart Sydney.
But in a major fillip for the Swans, football manager Tom Harley said Parker is set to put pen to paper on a deal tying him to the club beyond the 2016 season.
"We're really close," Harley told radio station SEN.
"He's the youngest player ever to be voted into the Swans' leadership group and he's an integral part of our future, both on and off the field.
"He's exactly the type of player you want at your club. On the field he's ruthless and competitive and off the field he really drives the troops.
"We've had fantastic leaders in (Jarrad) McVeigh, Kieren Jack and Josh Kennedy and Luke's the next one to bridge that gap before we get to the really young ones in Callum Mills and Isaac Heeney.
"We're very confident Luke will be with us for a long time."
In more positive news for Swans fans, Lance Franklin "hasn't missed a beat" this pre-season after stepping away from playing in last year's finals series.
Harley said the superstar forward's mental health issues will be ongoing but, apart from minor finger surgery, Franklin is fighting fit.
"He's going really well," Harley said.
"He'd spent a lot of time obviously working on some of the challenges he was brave enough to confront towards the end of the year. He's been one of the really impressive ones on the track this week.
"Fingers crossed. Bud's got a few things to work through, but he hasn't missed a physical session."
The Swans returned to training from their Christmas break in soggy conditions during a week of rain in Sydney, but they were buoyed by rising star Isaac Heeney easing back into full training after managing patella tendinitis.
"It's pretty exciting getting back into training, I never like just running," Heeney told the club's website.
"I've just got to make sure I get that pain eased and get on top of it before it can possibly ruin careers. At the moment it's feeling unreal."
Harley said the Swans would ramp up their training from Monday as the club prepares for the NAB Challenge, starting with a clash against Port Adelaide on February 20.