North Melbourne's Ben Brown. Picture: AFL Photos

NORTH Melbourne has officially placed Ben Brown up for sale after telling its four-time leading goalkicker to seek a new home.

The out-of-contract key forward had been in talks with the Roos earlier in the season about re-signing but knocked back a three-year offer in pursuit of an extra season.


In his exit meeting last Friday, coach Rhyce Shaw formally told Brown to seek options elsewhere.

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"It's not a decision we've made lightly as Ben has been a tremendous part of our club since 2014," Roos head of football Brady Rawlings said in a statement. 

"It was a very honest discussion. Ben was very mature and understood our decision. 

"We will work with Ben and his management to secure a mutually beneficial outcome." 

Brown kicked 63, 61 and 64 goals in each of the seasons from 2017-2019 but was reduced to eight goals in nine matches this season after a tough year in which he battled personal tragedy, a knee injury and poor form.

Ben Brown leaves the field after injuring his knee against Geelong. Picture: Albert Perez/AFL Media

 The 27-year-old's management has been gauging interest in his services from clubs including Essendon, Collingwood, Melbourne, Hawthorn, Gold Coast and Brisbane. 

However, rival clubs are only expected to ramp up their chase of Brown when key forward free agents Joe Daniher and Jeremy Cameron settle on their destinations of choice for 2021 and beyond.

Opposition clubs believe Brown's value on the open market could net the Roos a second-round pick.

North's desire to move Brown to another club during the coming AFL Trade Period comes after the Roos delisted a mammoth 11 players the day after their season finished with an 11-point loss to West Coast. 

It capped a three-win season in which the Roos finished 17th. 

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"These recent changes can be difficult for everyone involved, including our members, but they have been made in the best interests of the club," Rawlings said.

"We have a clear plan and pathway to lead this club back to finals as quickly as possible.

"We know our members will back us in and trust we are only interested in getting better across the board. We will use every avenue and mechanism available to achieve that."