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Trade whispers: Young gun close to staying with Pies

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 6: Matthew Scharenberg of the Magpies in action during the 2015 AFL round 23 match between the Collingwood Magpies and the Essendon Bombers at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne, Australia on September 6, 2015. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media)
'Go-home' factor may not be enough to take Matt Scharenberg away from Collingwood

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PROMISING defender Matthew Scharenberg is edging closer and closer to turning his back on strong interest from Adelaide and re-commiting to Collingwood after a drawn-out negotiation process.

Although Scharenberg is unlikely to put pen to paper until Collingwood's VFL team has completed its 2015 finals campaign, AFL.com.au understands the South Australian has indicated he wants to remain a Magpie beyond 2015.

Scharenberg, the No.6 pick in the 2013 national draft, is due to come out of contract at the end of October when he completes his initial two-year contract with the Magpies.

Growing speculation has surrounded the defender's future the longer he's remained un-signed this year, with Adelaide linked strongly to him.

However, it is believed Scharenberg, who turns 20 next Friday, will resist the temptation to return home and will recommit to Collingwood soon after its VFL team's season is over.

The defender will play in the VFL Magpies' cutthroat semi-final against Sandringham on Sunday.

After an injury-plagued start to his AFL career that saw him undergo surgery on both feet and a left knee reconstruction, Scharenberg made his senior debut in round 18 this year against Melbourne, and played four of Collingwood's final six games of the season.

Things hotted up on the player movement front earlier this week when Gold Coast spearhead Charlie Dixon requested a trade to Port Adelaide, star Greater Western Sydney youngster Adam Treloar requested a trade to Collingwood and Essendon tall Jake Carlisle asked for a trade without nominating a new home.

The race for Carlisle's signature has been bubbling away for some time, but it narrowed this week when North Melbourne withdrew following a meeting with the Bomber on Tuesday night.

It's understood both parties agreed they were not a good fit given Carlisle's preference to play in defence in 2016 and North's glut of key defenders.

St Kilda and Carlton now look set to fight it out for Carlisle's services, while North could up the ante in its efforts to convince Aaron Hall to leave Gold Coast.

The Suns have a contract on the table for Hall, but the midfielder has attracted more lucrative rival offers after his strong finish to 2015.

However, Gold Coast full-back Rory Thompson is close to re-signing for two years.

In addition to Treloar, Collingwood has also been linked to Carlton free agent Matthew Kreuzer and out-of-contract Brisbane Lions midfielder James Aish.

Collingwood leads the race for Kreuzer from the Western Bulldogs and Richmond, with the Magpies understood to have offered him up to $600,000 a season over four years.

Carlton will likely wait until the start of the free agency period in October before deciding whether to try to retain the 26-year-old, given it won't know what band of compensation pick it will receive for Kreuzer until a rival bid is lodged with the AFL.

If the Blues can get a first-round pick, which would fall at No.2 given their wooden-spoon finish, they won't stand in the way of Kreuzer making a fresh start.

However, if that compensation was to fall at the end of the first round or in the second round – and AFL football operations boss Mark Evans this week suggested that was a distinct possibility – Carlton could yet retain the club favourite.

Brisbane Lions free agent Matthew Leuenberger spoke with the Sydney Swans this week, but the ruckman will take his time to decide his future, with Greater Western Sydney and Fremantle among his other suitors.

Fellow Lion Aish is yet to tell the club he wants a trade, but the Lions remain resigned to the fact the out-of-contract midfielder will leave, with Richmond emerging this week as a rival to existing suitors Collingwood, Carlton and St Kilda.

Out-of-contract Swans speedster Lewis Jetta is still grappling with whether to re-sign or seek a move home to Western Australia. However, if Jetta does request a trade to be closer to family, it's believed he is leaning towards West Coast as his preferred new home.

Richmond remains in the box seat to snare Chris Yarran if Carlton agrees to trade the contracted defender.

AFL.com.au revealed on Tuesday that Essendon has offered Jake Melksham a new two-year deal, but the 24-year-old is weighing up his future amid interest from clubs including St Kilda and Carlton.

Young Geelong forward Josh Walker is understood to have attracted interest from Carlton, Melbourne and the Brisbane Lions after an impressive season inside 50 for the Cats.

The 22-year-old played 16 games in 2015, kicking a bags of five goals against the Lions in round 18 and four goals against the Suns in round three.

Blessed with endurance, he has a good pair of hands and can pinch-hit in the ruck.

Walker has played three finals in his 33 games for the Cats since debuting in 2011.