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CARLTON star Bryce Gibbs could still play for Adelaide one day, his father says, after a proposed trade for the homesick midfielder fell through.

The Crows finished the NAB AFL Trade Period as arguably the biggest loser after failing to strike a deal for Gibbs, having gone public with their desire to bring home the contracted 27-year-old. 

Gibbs was keen to return to Adelaide so he and his partner could reconnect with family and receive help with their young son but the Blues played hardball, demanding two first-round draft picks or a first-round selection combined with a quality player. 

His father Ross on Saturday said he was disappointed but hadn't given up hope of a future trade for his son, who is contracted until the end of 2019.

"The Crows have had a couple of cracks at Bryce before and haven't quite got it right and they went harder this time so there was genuine hope that he would be able to come home," he told the Adelaide Advertiser. 

"But we're a footballing family and know the rules. Obviously we're disappointed that something couldn't be done but Bryce is a contracted player and he'll have to honour that contract.

"Carlton stuck to their guns and the Crows' window of opportunity didn't work out so we all move on. One day it might be a different story."

Gibbs would have no problems returning to Carlton, who had been "fantastic" to him, his father added. 

Adelaide powerbroker Mark Ricciuto on Friday admitted the Crows thought Carlton were bluffing when they refused to accept an offer for Gibbs.

Ricciuto, who is chairman of the Crows' list management committee, says it would have been irresponsible to give up what the Blues were demanding. 

"We thought that they might have been playing the game and then come back late and said 'OK, he wants to go home. He is probably not going to be in our next premiership side so we'll take somewhere in between'," he told Triple M radio. 

"If that happened, the deal would have been done yesterday. But it didn't happen. We were surprised about that, we respect that (but) we are very, very disappointed."

But Carlton football boss Andrew McKay said the Crows had simply underestimated the midfielder's worth.

"We obviously value Bryce more highly than they do," McKay told SEN radio. 

"They weren't close. We were very clear with them. It wasn't a matter of us mucking them around at all."