THE WESTERN Bulldogs are eyeing Hawthorn free agent Tim O'Brien as defensive cover with out-of-contract Bulldog Lewis Young requesting a trade to Carlton.
O'Brien is out of contract at the Hawks and the unrestricted free agent is without a deal for 2022.
But the Bulldogs have shown interest in adding the versatile O'Brien to their mix with Young set to take up an offer from the Blues after officially requesting a trade on Monday on the opening day of the Continental Tyres AFL Trade Period.
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The 22-year-old Bulldog has a two-year offer in front of him from the club but had been weighing his future after playing nine games this year for the Grand Finalists.
O'Brien has been in contract limbo at the Hawks for some time, with Port Adelaide also among the clubs who have shown interest in him.
The 27-year-old played 19 games for the Hawks this season for a total of 97 throughout his career at Waverley.
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Largely O'Brien has been used as a key forward but he has also spent periods in the back half, with his versatility an appeal for the Dogs if Young departs.
As an unrestricted free agent O'Brien would be able to walk to the Bulldogs without the Hawks being able to match an offer, however Hawthorn could receive a compensation pick for him depending on the value of a deal he takes up.
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The Hawks currently hold three picks inside the first 24 selections but are keen to improve that hand, with rivals believing they are open to offers for key players as incoming coach Sam Mitchell undertakes a draft-focused build.