COLLINGWOOD has confirmed its interest in talking to out-of-contract Tiger Ivan Maric, with coach Nathan Buckley open to recruiting mature-age players in the upcoming exchange period.
Maric has been in talks with multiple clubs, including Richmond, about a dual coaching and playing role in 2017 for a number of weeks and he met with the Magpies on Thursday.
Buckley said it was a "sensitive situation" but the Magpies were keen to continue talks after Maric was pushed out of the No.1 ruck role at Tigerland this season.
"Ivan is uncontracted at Richmond and we're interested in having a chat to him," Buckley told 3AW on Friday night.
"We will talk to anyone that we think is going to help us be successful.
"We're probably in a position now to look at some mature players who can add to that mix (and) I'm not in a position to discount anything that is going to improve us.
"We have a philosophy on what we need to look for and needs we have for the list."
Collingwood recruited former Adelaide, Western Bulldogs and Brisbane Lions ruckman Ben Hudson in a similar playing/coaching role in 2013, placing him on the list as insurance and playing him in seven games over two seasons.
Delisted North Melbourne midfielder Nick Dal Santo has also been floated as a mature-age option for the Magpies.
Meanwhile, Buckley expressed confidence that Neil Balme would stay with the club in a new director of coaching role, saying the former football manager was "excited by the restructured role".
Buckley backed incoming football manager Graeme Allen and played down the possibility the former Greater Western Sydney administrator could be banned for his role in the Lachie Whitfield saga.
"From my perspective, I've had my head in reviews … and 'Gubby' has been involved in that as well," the coach said.
"We're head down, bum up and making sure we do everything we need to do to prepare for 2017.
"There's a possibility there won't be a penalty."