GREATER Western Sydney planned to keep Bobby Hill even if Hawthorn veteran Luke Breust joined the Giants during a frantic finish to the Continental Tyres AFL Trade Period.
AFL.com.au revealed the Giants made a big play for Breust and Giants list manager Jason McCartney confirmed the two clubs had agreed to a deal that would have sent Breust and pick 24 to the Giants in exchange for pick 13.
However, the three-time flag Hawk did not agree to the move, which could have paved the way for Hill's trade to the Bombers.
"It would have been done," McCartney said of a deal that only was discussed 36 hours ago, in which the Hawks would have paid most of Breust's deal.
"Our money is invested in our players and that was a factor as well."
TRADE TRACKER Every deal as it happens
However, McCartney was less certain when speaking to reporters after the deadline passed that a trade for Breust would have meant Hill could move to the Bombers.
"We would've played both. Pretty exciting to think about what it could've looked like in that forward line, so it wouldn't have changed anything with Bobby,” McCartney said.
He also said there would be no issue with Hill returning to the club despite the failure of his requested move late in the Continental Tyres AFL Trade Period.
"He'll be welcomed back with open arms. This is the business of football. We understand his reason, albeit came late. But he'll be fine," Giants list manager Jadon McCartney told Trade Radio on Wednesday evening.
Giants skipper Stephen Coniglio and teammate Matt de Boer will see Hill in Perth on Thursday to reinforce that message.
"We rate him really highly and we don't have many small forwards on our list. Toby Greene will miss the first give games so we need Bobby Hill at his best," McCartney said.
Hill's manager Colin Young said the Giant would likely remain in WA with his partner until the birth of his child in December before heading back to Sydney.
"Bobby's pretty deflated right now and he's going to have a drive to Northam (about 100km north-east of Perth) to be with the family tonight," Young told Fox Footy after the trade deadline passed.
"We'll give it three or four days' time and see where it all sits. Obviously he's pretty upset because he did a lot of work himself, talking to relatives and the Indigenous community in Melbourne.
"He was talking to Brad Hill this morning about it and even Brad agreed that it was the right thing to get him down to Melbourne."
The Giants were in regular contact with Hill on deadline day and are putting plans in place to further support the small forward and his partner once they return to Sydney.
"He's been really well cared for at our football club, it's just added a dimension now with a young partner and first child," McCartney said on Wednesday night.
"Dylan Addison, our player welfare manager, has been on the phone most of the afternoon with Bobby, we're just working on making sure they're really comfortable.
INDICATIVE DRAFT ORDER Your club's picks as they stand
"Depending on border restrictions, he might not return to the club until January anyway. We'll make sure things are in place.
"We've just appointed an Indigenous liaison manager in Malcolm Lynch, who will start with us next year. He played some football at the Western Bulldogs and North Melbourne and he's a Sydney boy, so he'll play an important role too."
Essendon list manager Adrian Dodoro said he had spoken to Hill as late as 5pm on Wednesday, advising the forward that the move wouldn't go ahead.
"He's a resilient, tough kid... he'll go back (to GWS) and have a really, really good year," Dodoro said.