GREATER Western Sydney small forward Bobby Hill will remain tied to the club in 2022 after the contracted player's late bid to join Essendon was denied by the Giants on Wednesday night.
North Melbourne ruckman Tristan Xerri was also left stranded as the 7.30pm AEDT passed on the final day of the Continental Tyres AFL Trade Period, with St Kilda unable to secure the 22-year-old.
Hill requested a trade to the Bombers on compassionate grounds one week into the trade period but any move was quashed when it became clear the Giants would not be able to replace him with another small forward.
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Hawthorn premiership hero Luke Bruest could have been the circuit breaker to make Hill's move possible if he had agreed to join the Giants, while GWS also explored the possibility of signing Hawk Chad Wingard.
But their inability to replace Hill meant Essendon's best offer of a future second-round pick could not be accepted, with the club now expecting Hill to return for pre-season training.
Hill's manager Andrew McDougall was disappointed with the outcome after the Bombers had improved their offer on Tuesday in a bid to keep a trade alive.
"A future second-round pick seemed like a fair and reasonable offer from Essendon. We're disappointed with today's outcome but we'll regroup and focus on 2022," McDougall told AFL.com.au.
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Greater Western Sydney football boss Jason McCartney ruled out any prospect of a move an hour before the deadline, saying the club would welcome the small forward back with open arms.
"This is the business of football. We understand his reason, albeit it came late, but he'll be fine," McCartney told Trade Radio.
"We rate him really highly and we don't have many small forwards on our list. Toby Greene will miss the first five games, so we need Bobby Hill at his best."
Collingwood was an interested onlooker in talks this week and would have been open to trading for Hill if he had agreed to join them.
Xerri's proposed trade fell over late on deadline day after the Saints walked away from negotiations, unable to meet North Melbourne's demands.
The Kangaroos wanted a future second-round selection in exchange for the ruckman, who has played 12 games, while also proposing a swap of future third-round picks.
Fremantle ruck/forward Rory Lobb will also remain at his club after failing to get his wish of a return to GWS.
The 28-year-old pursued a return to the Giants and was willing to accept a significant pay cut, but the Giants were ultimately unable to make a deal work.
Lobb's manager Colin Young called off talks on Sunday night, declaring he had exhausted all avenues and a trade for the contracted tall would not get off the ground.