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Rival clubs circling out-of-contract Bomber

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 27: Conor McKenna of the Bombers in action during the 2017 AFL round 23 match between the Essendon Bombers and the Fremantle Dockers at Etihad Stadium on August 27, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media)
Bomber Conor McKenna is out of contract

ESSENDON speedster Conor McKenna is weighing up his future as he remains out of contract despite a breakout season for the club. 

McKenna has enjoyed a career-best year for the Bombers across half-back, and has become a key member of their defence with his brilliant foot skills and pace. understands the Irishman has been in discussions with the Bombers over a new deal, but is considering his options as a number of other clubs circle with strong interest. 

The Bombers won the fight for McKenna and signed him as an international rookie at the end of 2014, having been the first club to approach him in Ireland. 

They had already made moves to sign him before his first ever game of football, when he starred with four goals playing for the European Legion against the NAB AFL Academy in April that year.

The Academy side that day featured the likes of Christian Petracca, Isaac Heeney, Angus Brayshaw and Lachie Weller, and a number of rival clubs approached him afterwards in an attempt to get the talented youngster to their club. 

McKenna's kicking on both feet and turn of pace saw him make his AFL debut in the final two games of 2015, before he played 12 games last season and came into his own in the second half of the season as an attacking defender.

The 21-year-old's running has helped Essendon become one of the quickest teams this season and he has averaged 17 disposals a game.

Essendon has put most of its efforts this season into re-signing important trio Joe Daniher, Darcy Parish and David Zaharakis, with the trio now locked in at the club after Zaharakis agreed to a four-year deal on Tuesday.  

McKenna is the Bombers' next priority as they enter an off-season which will see at least three senior players – Jobe Watson, Brent Stanton and James Kelly – retire. 

Experienced pair Heath Hocking and Ben Howlett, and quick half-forward Jackson Merrett, are other senior-listed Bombers who remain out of contract as the end of the season approaches.