THE WESTERN Bulldogs will separate discussions with Essendon over Josh Dunkley from any potential move for Collingwood star Adam Treloar.
While a three-way deal would suit the Bombers, who continue to push for the contracted Dunkley, it is unlikely to fit the needs of the Dogs, who are adamant that their interest in Treloar would not be entangled with Dunkley.
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The Bombers are continuing to drive hard to land Dunkley, with the gun inside midfielder requesting a trade to Tullamarine before Thursday night's trade deadline.
Essendon would be keen for some of their trade capital in the Dunkley deal to be forwarded to the Magpies, who have pushed Treloar to explore his options despite having another five years contracted with Collingwood.
A proposed three-way transaction and swapping of picks would see the Bombers get their man, Collingwood find cap space and increase its draft hand and the Bulldogs add more speed to their midfield.
But the Dogs are holding firm and not complicating matters by entering talks on that scenario as they prioritise keeping Dunkley over trading in Treloar, who is four years older than the premiership Bulldog.
The Bulldogs have not yet met with Treloar as the Magpies onballer weighs his future, with some clubs believing he could yet still choose to stay at Collingwood and delay a call on his future until 2021, knowing he has the security of a long-term deal in his favour.
The Bombers have targeted Dunkley to bolster their inside midfield stocks and add leadership to their group, with a long-term and lucrative deal on the table.
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Essendon is holding the keys to the Trade Period as it continues to barter over a deal with Carlton for speedster Adam Saad, with pick No.8 on the table but the Bombers unwilling to give a strong pick back to the Blues as part of the swap.
They also need to arrange a deal with Port Adelaide for wantaway but contracted forward Orazio Fantasia, while the Giants are targeting an early pick in return for midfielder Jye Caldwell, who wants to join the Bombers.