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Bombers lodge paperwork for free agent Leuenberger

Get excited by: Matthew Leuenberger Essendon set to secure big Lion ruckman as a free agent
BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 25: Matthew Leuenberger of the Lions in action during the 2015 AFL round 17 match between the Brisbane Lions and the North Melbourne Kangaroos at The Gabba, Brisbane, Australia on July 25, 2015. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media)
Free agent Matthew Leuenberger is poised to join Essendon

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RUCKMAN Matthew Leuenberger has nominated Essendon as his club of choice as he seeks to leave the Brisbane Lions as a restricted free agent.

The Bombers lodged paperwork with the AFL on Monday afternoon and will now wait to see if the Lions match their offer and force Essendon to negotiate a trade for the wanted big man.

It is considered unlikely the Lions will take that path.

Leuenberger has been offered a three-year deal by the Bombers and was originally drafted with pick No.4 in the 2006 NAB AFL Draft, both factors that will be taken into account when formulating the Lions' compensation.

His financial terms and age (27) will also contribute to the compensation pick. 

Leuenberger had weighed up a move to the Sydney Swans, with the Swans on the lookout for a ruckman to potentially replace Mike Pyke if he retires.

He could step in as the Bombers' No.1 big man after Tom Bellchambers struggled with injury in 2015.

Leuenberger has played 108 games and kicked 27 goals with the Lions.

The Swans could now ramp up their chase for West Coast big man Callum Sinclair, who is contracted until the end of 2016.