COLLINGWOOD is hopeful it can retain star midfielder Dayne Beams next season, despite him telling the club he wants to return home to be closer to family in Queensland.
Beams met with coach Nathan Buckley on Wednesday to request a trade back to his home state so he can be nearer to his father, who is suffering from cancer.
The 24-year-old is contracted to the Magpies next season and does not qualify for free agency until the end of 2016, meaning a trade would need to be struck with either the Brisbane Lions or Gold Coast to fulfill his wishes.
Magpie bombshell: Beams requests trade to Queensland
However, the Magpies are starting to put some measures in place to try to convince Beams to stay.
Collingwood CEO Gary Pert said the club was exploring a number of solutions, including provisions where Beams would be allowed to spend more time in Queensland.
"We're sympathetic to [Beams' situation]. It didn't come out of left field – we knew it was an issue for quite some time," Pert told SEN on Thursday morning.
"We believe the conversations we're having at the moment, which are for Beamsy to remain as a Collingwood player and to give him more opportunity during the pre-season and during the season to be home with his family, is a good compromise and in the best interests of everyone."
Magpie president Eddie McGuire denied speculation Beams had had a falling out with key figures at the club.
"Dayne’s got some family issues, that’s the reason for it - it’s not that he doesn’t want to be at Collingwood," McGuire said on Triple M.
"He would desperately love to stay at the Collingwood Football Club but his father is suffering from cancer and he wants to get the family back together. It's as simple as that."
Pert said the Lions faced some obstacles if they were to pry Beams – who he described as one of the top 15 players in the competition – away from the club.
"He's right at the top of the tree as a talent," Pert said.
"You're always going to have to pay more money to take someone out of a club.
"If they're contracted as well, that's a whole different thing. That's like knocking on someone's front door and saying 'I want to buy your house', even though you're not wanting to sell it.
"You're looking at a pretty hefty premium there."
Pert said Collingwood would need to look at all of its options if Beams were to leave.
"We can be considerate and sympathetic to the pressures he's feeling at the moment, but at the same time he's an important part of the club," Pert said.
"Our preference is to come up with a solution where he remains a player at the club and, potentially, this is a short-term issue that he needs to get through."