THE WESTERN Bulldogs have slightly softened their stance on trading midfielder Josh Dunkley, leaving the door ajar to dealing him to Essendon.

Although Bulldogs list manager Sam Power said it was a "priority" to keep Dunkley, he also confirmed there had been some low-level discussions with the Bombers.

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Dunkley informed the Bulldogs on Thursday of his desire to be traded to Essendon.


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"Our priority is to keep him," Power told Trade Radio on Friday.

"We have to be open to different situations, we'll work through that with Essendon, but our position hasn't changed."

Power said Dunkley's request had blindsided the Bulldogs. 

"I've had a couple of chats with (Essendon list manager) Adrian Dodoro, but at this stage nothing has been presented to us in a formal sense.

"Guys that have moved clubs with two years on a contract, there's a significant premium on that. 

"There's every chance he's here and a Bulldogs player (in 2021) and that's what we want." 

Josh Dunkley in action during a Western Bulldogs training session at Whitten Oval in May. Picture: Michael Willson/AFL Photos

When asked about any potential interest in Collingwood's Adam Treloar, Power said they would "monitor the situation". 

Other players that Power discussed included:

  • Melbourne forward Mitch Hannan: "It's really encouraging he has indicated he wants to come … but we've got a bit to work through there. That's one we'll work through over the next week."
  • Brisbane ruckman Stefan Martin: "We've got some interest in Stef. He's been a very, very good player. We need some more support and options in that position."