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Bulldogs fans in line for an early Christmas present

Million-dollar Dog needs to step up Mitch Cleary and Ryan Davidson bring you an update on the Bulldogs' pre-season

WESTERN Bulldogs premiership stars Lachie Hunter and Josh Dunkley are working towards contract extensions as the Dogs attempt to shore up their young stars.

AFL.com.au understands the Dogs have enjoyed positive negotiations with both players, with fresh deals a chance to be finalised prior to Christmas.

Hunter's looming signature comes off the back of a career-best season where he claimed his maiden best and fairest and averaged 30 disposals per game.

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The midfielder, who turned 24 on Thursday, is understood to be in discussions over a long-term deal of four or five seasons.

Dunkley, who turns 22 early next month, joins Hunter as one of eight premiership players out of contract at the end of 2019 from the 15 remaining on the club's list.

Playing 19 games in 2018, Dunkley enjoyed his most consistent season to date to take his career tally to 43 matches.

Caleb Daniel, entering his fifth season at Whitten Oval, will be another for the Dogs' list management team to prioritise into the new year.

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Tom Liberatore, returning from a season-ending knee surgery, signed a one-year deal at the end of the NAB AFL Trade Period.

Veterans Dale Morris and Tory Dickson signed one-year extensions late this year, while Liam Picken and Fletcher Roberts' current deals will expire at season's end.

Picken remains on light duties after missing the entire 2018 campaign due to concussion symptoms.

It comes as the Dogs corrected their list status in their latest lodgement to the AFL after they were believed to have one spot available heading into the pre-season supplemental selection period (SSP).

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After passing on their last pick in the rookie draft, the Dogs then added Next Generation Academy prospect Buku Khamis as a Category B selection.

With the Dogs planning on matching a bid for his services in the NAB AFL Draft and leaving a list spot open, Khamis effectively cost them nothing in the draft.

However, the Dogs then upgraded Khamis to a Category A rookie, filling the final spot on their list.

The move allows the Western Jets product to be eligible for round one selection as Category B rookies require promotion to the senior list in order to play AFL.