COLLINGWOOD'S out-of-contract star Jordan De Goey says he "definitely wants to stay" at the Magpies and that talks on a new deal have begun.
The brilliant goalkicker knocked back huge rival deals at the end of 2018, including a long-term $5m offer from North Melbourne, to remain with Collingwood for a further two seasons.
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But the COVID-19 crisis saw the AFL in March put a hold on any new contracts being lodged, with De Goey's signature one of the most prized in the competition.
In an exclusive interview with AFL.com.au's AFL Exchange podcast, the 24-year-old match-winner gave the strongest indication yet that he wants to remain in the black and white.
"Yeah I do [want to stay long-term]. Obviously it's a fantastic club and they gave me the opportunity in the beginning, so I definitely want to stay there, that's for sure," De Goey said.
"But come towards the end of the year we can work that stuff out. I've been speaking to the club a little bit currently which has been good. For me I just want us to win games of footy and I'm trying to limit everything that distracts me outside of football from doing that."
The uncertainty surrounding list sizes and the salary cap in coming years has made it difficult for clubs to settle on lucrative deals, with the Magpies also keen to lock down key defender Darcy Moore, who also falls out of contract this year.
De Goey, who kicked 34 goals last year after a career-best season in 2018 when he booted 48 majors, said he was comfortable leaving a decision until later in the season.
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"Obviously this year is crazy in itself. No one really knows what's going on with salary caps, list numbers and everything like that. At the moment I'm just trying to win games of footy, because that's really all I can do and then from then on I'll work that stuff out towards the end of the year," he said.
"Hopefully we're in a position to play finals and do well and go deep into finals, but I'll just wait and see. I just want to play out the year. Obviously it's a weird time and hopefully it gets back to normal pretty soon."
He said the lessons of the last time he was out of contract had meant he knew how to handle the speculation about his future.
"It's a tough period of time, you get the finger pointed at you quite a bit and you've got to perform in order to get a good contract," he said.
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De Goey left his manager earlier this year and has spoken with several other leading management companies in the months since, however he expects to sign with an agent before the deal is secured.
"For now I'll find a manager who fits me as a person and the values I have and sees me with the same future I think for myself, so it's just trying to find someone who has that ability and go from there," he said.
"I'm in no rush to do a lot of this stuff."