JESSE Hogan will tell Melbourne if he wants to break his contract and seek a trade home to Western Australia before the NAB AFL Trade Period officially starts on Monday.
And, the Demons have conceded they won't be able to afford to make a play for Gold Coast defender Steven May unless Hogan leaves.
Melbourne football manager Josh Mahoney said on Tuesday the Demons expected a conversation with Hogan in the coming days to shed light on whether he will seek a trade, likely to Fremantle, when the NAB AFL Trade Period starts next week.
"We're not sure at the moment, he's got a bit of thinking to do over the next few days," Mahoney told NAB AFL Trade Radio.
"We had a conversation at the end of the season with Jesse about his future and it's well documented the struggles he went through over the last 18 months and he's to be applauded for his efforts to be able to do what he's done this year.
"But he's at the stage in his career that he's got to think about what is the next phase for him, and he said to us one thing he wants to consider is, is going back to Perth a chance?
"He's going to take the next few days to think about that."
Hogan is understood to have brought up the idea of heading back to his home state despite being contracted until the end of 2019 in a follow-up conversation with coach Simon Goodwin after his official exit interview.
Mahoney said they would be disappointed to lose him but understanding of his situation if he chose to go.
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"You never want to consider a player leaving of the talent that he's got but he does come from WA and it is spoken about each year," he said.
"Every year we talk it through and every year he's stayed and he's fully invested.
"We see this period as being very similar.
"He may turn around and say he wants to say but he also may say he wants to go.
"We've been supportive of Jesse the whole way through and whatever his decision is, we'll support that."
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Mahoney also said they would expect heavy compensation from the Dockers, given they believe he's worth the "highest that anyone has been traded for".
Meanwhile, Mahoney confirmed the club had met with May twice to talk about the chance of him breaking his Suns contract a year early.
While the Demons are confident they would be able to secure a trade for him, it will only be possible if Hogan leaves.
"He's a player we've been tracking for a little while and he is contracted for another year so we're more talking about in 12 months' time, but when this does happen, you're presented with it," Mahoney said.
"He still has to make a decision about whether he wants to leave Gold Coast but we think Melbourne would be a really good choice for him, he's the type of player we need in our backline.
"We'll be able to do a deal if that opportunity does come."
Mahoney said the opportunity to secure May would give them a "chance to balance their list overall" given Jake Lever will miss games into 2019 after his June knee reconstruction, and Sam Frost and Oscar McDonald are still developing.
Mahoney also provided updates on:
Dom Tyson: "Discussions with Dom are about opportunities to play in his prime position as an inside mid. We've gone heavily in the draft in that area and it's probably our strongest area and it's forced him to play in some different roles. He's looking for opportunities to play that role, we're supportive of him to do that. We're comfortable if he wants to stay … but also if an opportunity comes up we'll look at that as well."
Kade Kolodjashnij: "He's out of contract at Gold Coast and we've spoken to him, he's the type of player we're looking for. He's 190cm, plays half-back and wing, and we think he'll really bolster the strength of our running midfield. We've spoken to Gold Coast and then hopefully he's a player we'll get a trade done for in the trade period. We've done a thorough medical, he had some concussion issues this year, which he's worked on in the second half of the year and they found out what's going on there and he was able to play some footy after that. We're comfortable he's over those issues."
Aaron vandenBerg: "His father died during the year and family wise, his mother is moving to Sydney and that creates an opportunity for him to look at the Sydney Swans. He loves being at Melbourne and we love Aaron … it's one that's out of our control at the moment as it's a decision he has to make. We want him to stay and hopefully he decides to stay."
Dean Kent: "He spoke to us and said he'd like to go to St Kilda. It's been through lack of opportunities for Dean, which have mainly been off the back of injuries. With St Kilda, there's an opportunity for him to get a longer-term deal and more opportunities to play, so we'll hopefully sit down with St Kilda and get a trade done."
Braydon Preuss: "We need some support for Max, what he's been able to do by himself is extraordinary and we know that's going to get harder and harder every year. Braydon hasn't been getting a game so we're looking at those sorts of players, and he is an option, but he's amongst a number of different options for us in that role. He's shown he can play forward at different stages and be a No.1 ruck as well, but there's a few other options we're looking at as well."
Jayden Hunt: "He was one of those players we thought was a missing link for us in late in the year. He's the type of player that we need and we were desperate to get him into the team late and the timing didn't do his way with the amount of footy he had missed through injury. We certainly wouldn't be entertaining anything with Jayden, he's got a lot of upside so we're looking forward to him having a full pre-season."
Andrew Gaff: "We don't stop asking the question, but we've been told to stay away for a fair period of time. We're reading what you guys are reading on that."
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