WESTERN Bulldogs midfielder Josh Dunkley will return to the club in 2021 after last-minute talks to send the ball-winner to Essendon fell through on Thursday night.   

Dunkley requested a move to the Bombers early in the Trade Period and negotiations stretched into the final minutes as Thursday night's 7.30pm AEDT deadline approached. 

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Trade wrap: Big winners, plus who the Pies could target in 2021

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TRADE TRACKER All the deals as they drop

The Bulldogs held firm to their demands for a player they value highly – believed to be two first-round selections – and it proved to be a price the Bombers were not willing to pay. 

The Bombers' final offer for Dunkley was pick No.7 and a future second-round selection. 

03:08 Mins
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Trade Targets: Watch the best highlights of Josh Dunkley

Enjoy the standout moments from the midfielder's career so far

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The Bombers held draft selections No.6, No.7 and No.8.

"We rate him so highly, he’s a fantastic player, a future captain of the club really," Bulldogs list manager Sam Power told Trade Radio.

INDICATIVE DRAFT ORDER Your club's picks as they stand 

"We had a really clear asking price that we didn’t deviate from, otherwise we were very consistently saying we were going to keep him.

"He knows how highly we rate him … we’re confident he can be a long-term player for us."

07:41 Mins
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Buzzer beater: How the Dogs got Treloar and kept Dunkley

Western Bulldogs list and recruiting manager Sam Power tells Trade Radio how the club nabbed Adam Treloar from Collingwood, and managed to retain Josh Dunkley

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Dunkley was not the only player left at his original club, with Jackson Hately's request to join Adelaide not proceeding.

Crows general manager list management and strategy Justin Reid said Hately will join the Crows with pick No.1 in the NAB AFL Pre-Season Draft.

“Jackson wants to be at the Crows in 2021 and given we have the first pick in the pre-season draft, we will be able to make this happen,” Reid said.