Every Thursday AFL.com.au presents Inside Trading, with breaking news and the best analysis of the player movement landscape covering contracts, trades, free agents, the NAB AFL Draft and industry insights.
GIANTS CLOSE ON 'BINGA' DEAL
GREATER Western Sydney is hopeful of locking away one of its most important young talents in the coming weeks, moving to tie pressure forward Brent Daniels to a long-term contract with the club.
It's understood the Giants have started talks with Daniels' management recently about extending his current deal beyond this season, tabling an offer that could secure his future in New South Wales for up to four years and into free agency.
Daniels has become one of coach Leon Cameron's most trusted attacking players in his four seasons at GWS and highlighted his influence in the side's forward line with an impressive display in last Saturday's thrilling two-point win over local rivals Sydney.
The diminutive 22-year-old won 18 disposals, eight inside-50s, six score involvements and kicked a nice first-quarter goal in the victory, helping to drag the Giants over the line with his repeat efforts in the final term.
Daniels, who has kicked 21 goals from 53 senior appearances with GWS, quickly established himself as a senior regular when he featured in every game throughout the side's successful 2019 season.
He kicked the match-winning goal in its thrilling semi-final win over Brisbane at the Gabba and finished with 15 disposals and four tackles as it lost its maiden Grand Final to Richmond a fortnight later.
As reported by AFL.com.au's Inside Trading earlier this month, the Giants have also opened talks over a fresh contract for fellow young gun Lachie Ash and remain hopeful of securing the former No.4 pick to a new deal. – Riley Beveridge
BREAKOUT HAWK SET TO BE REWARDED
HAWTHORN speedster Changkuoth Jiath is closing in on hitting a contract extension for next year.
The 21-year-old half-back has been a shining light in the Hawks' 1-4 start, playing all five games to take his career tally to 12 in his fourth year at the club.
Jiath was forced to wait until November to win a deal for 2021 having served the maximum three years on the Category B rookie list after arriving as a Next Generation Academy product.
He was then upgraded to the senior list with a one-year contract that included a games trigger for 2022.
Now a key part of coach Alastair Clarkson's backline, Jiath is expected to hit the trigger and win an extension for next year off his breakout campaign where he's averaged 21.4 disposals per game.
Other Hawks without a deal for next year include Blake Hardwick, Jacob Koschitzke, Harry Morrison, James Cousins, Daniel Howe, Ollie Hanrahan and free agents Tim O'Brien and Dylan Moore.
Meantime, the Hawks' list management restructure, that saw Mark McKenzie replace outgoing head of football Graham Wright as the club's list manager, has resulted in an upgrade for Nathan Foley.
Foley, who played 154 games for Richmond across 2005-2014, held the role as the head of the Hawks' Next Generation Academy and has since taken up a position as a recruiting manager under McKenzie. – Mitch Cleary
DO THE DOGS CONTINUE KEY BACK CHASE?
IF THERE is any question on the Western Bulldogs' list as it sits atop the ladder after five rounds, it is the club's stocks of key defenders.
Injuries to Ryan Gardner and now Bailey Williams, who has been used as a third tall backman this season, have hit at the depth of that department on the club's list. Premiership player Zaine Cordy has been playing in the VFL, while Lewis Young was recently called up for a return to senior action.
So will the Dogs look at replenishing that department again through this year's trade and free agency market?
Last year the Bulldogs had an interest in underutilised Brisbane defender Jack Payne but nothing eventuated as he stayed with the Lions where he is contracted until the end of 2022.
But there are also other key defensive options around the AFL who remain out of contract who could appeal. Among the free agency list, Richmond's David Astbury, North Melbourne's Robbie Tarrant, Essendon's Patrick Ambrose and Geelong's Jake Kolodjashnij remain without deals for next year at this stage.
Of other unsigned key backs around Adelaide youngster Fischer McAsey has a contract offer in front of him but has Victorian clubs monitoring him, while teammate Tom Doedee is negotiating a new deal with the Crows.
Versatile West Coast tall Jarrod Brander, who was on the trade table last year, is out of contract at the end of this season while St Kilda veteran Jake Carlisle's one-year deal finishes at the end of this season.
Gun defender Darcy Moore, signed until 2022 but one of this year's key pre-agents, was on the radar of the Bulldogs in 2019 a year before his previous deal ended with Collingwood. – Callum Twomey and Mitch Cleary
DRAFTEE EMERGES TO WOW SCOUTS
IT HAS been a big month for Finn Callaghan, with the NAB AFL Draft prospect wasting no time to rise into top-10 calculations at the start of the NAB League season.
Callaghan started the year as a player to watch for clubs but has taken only several performances to be rated among the top group of his draft class after an impressive beginning for the Sandringham Dragons.
It has led to the 189cm and 82kg classy wingman being a late call-up to the NAB AFL Academy's side to face Geelong's VFL side on Saturday.
Callaghan first took the eye of recruiters as the best-on-ground in a soggy Sandringham intra-club contest last month and the long-kicking and silky left-footer has continued in the same fashion to start the home and away season.
He gathered 19 disposals in a polished display in Sandringham's first game against Oakleigh, had 13 against the Northern Knights and last week was among his side's best with 24 disposals, five inside-50s and a goal.
Clubs predict the Dragons could have more than 10 players drafted this season, but Callaghan's start to the season has pushed him right into first-round conversations. – Callum Twomey