COLLINGWOOD has offered forward Brody Mihocek a three-year contract extension as it attempts to lock away its 2020 leading goalkicker.
The Pies remain confident high-profile out-of-contract pair Jordan De Goey and Darcy Moore will re-sign but have several other key signatures to secure approaching finals.
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AFL.com.au understands Mihocek has all intentions to stay at the club that took a chance on him as a 24-year-old but remains some distance apart on the financials of the new deal.
Both parties remain in dialogue with talks expected to ramp up in coming weeks.
The deal could also involve a trigger for a fourth year that would allow Mihocek greater career security as he enters his 30s.
Now 27, Mihocek has kicked 20 goals this season and is on track to win the Pies' goalkicking for a second consecutive year.
After being taken in the NAB AFL Rookie Draft at the end of 2017, Mihocek has been on the Pies' rookie list for the maximum three seasons and will be elevated to the senior list for 2021 should he stay.
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In 2020, the Pies have carried the maximum permitted six rookie listed players with $80,000 (AFL minimum rookie contract) of each player's deal not included in the salary cap.
Mihocek signed a new two-year deal at the end of his first season in 2018, of which $80,000 from each season could sit off the Pies' total player payments.
Should the rookie list shrink next year when list sizes are finalised, it would cause an extra headache for a club like the Pies to squeeze in extra money from its rookies that has previously been able to sit outside the cap.
The Pies are on the lookout for extra key forward firepower heading into next season and this week lost key servant Ben Reid to retirement.
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Mason Cox is contracted for next season after he reached a trigger, Darcy Cameron has two years to run and developing forward Will Kelly will return next year from an elbow injury.
Josh Daicos is another player the Pies are hoping to re-sign on a multi-year deal after a breakout 2020 campaign where he has emerged as one of the best kicks inside 50.
Others out of contract include Matt Scharenberg, Levi Greenwood, Rupert Wills, Flynn Appleby and Atu Bosenavulagi.
Rival clubs are also anticipating Collingwood will place contracted players on the trade table this off-season, just as it did with James Aish (moved to Fremantle), Scharenberg and Tom Phillips last year.