CARLTON has turned its attention to re-signing restricted free agent Bryce Gibbs having recently taken captain Marc Murphy and Andrew Walker off the free agency market.
Blues CEO Greg Swann told SEN radio on Wednesday night that Carlton had opened contract talks with Gibbs' manager.
"We're extremely confident he'll stay," Swann said.
"He's only 24, Bryce. To become a free agent, he's a young man (and) in our view he's still got his best footy ahead of him.
"For us he is a key signing, no doubt about that."
Adelaide and Port Adelaide have already expressed their interest in South Australian Gibbs, who was the No. 1 pick in the 2006 NAB AFL Draft.
But even in the event the Blues do not re-sign Gibbs before October's free agency period, as a restricted free agent they could keep him simply by matching any rival offer.
Swann also said Carlton would consider Melbourne's James Frawley if he decided to explore free agency, but believed the key defender was not going anywhere.
"The information is that he'll stay. You'd certainly look if he decided that he'd have a look around," Swann said.Twitter: @AFL_Nick