RICHMOND has the salary cap room to pursue an experienced midfielder at the end of the season despite signing defender Alex Rance to a four-year contract this week.
But the Tigers, who remain keen to bolster their midfield and possibly add an experienced half-back to their mix, will be mindful about ensuring their improving talent is also rewarded financially.
After aborted pursuits of rival midfielders including Melbourne's Jack Trengove and St Kilda's David Armitage last trade period, the Tigers are in a position to target another big name.
Football manager Dan Richardson confirmed on Saturday there was financial room to do so but emphasised the club was confident in the progression of its emerging talent as well.
"We've been clear over the last couple of years to continue [building] midfield depth, it's an on-going focus balanced with having another rebounding defender to complement the likes of Bachar Houli," Richardson told AFL.com.au.
"We've seen also the likes of Taylor Hunt spending some time there and he's shown some real promise for us.
"In terms of the midfield, we've seen Corey Ellis and Connor Menadue start to show that we think they're going to long-term players for us; Kamdyn McIntosh is another.
"We're developing most of what we need internally but in saying that, you always like to have good players."
Greater Western Sydney midfielder Adam Treloar is still out of contract, as does Adelaide gun Patrick Dangerfield, who remains heavily linked to Geelong.
Tiger Jack Riewoldt is due to come out of contract at the end of next season but Richardson said he expected no issue with the forward re-signing.
But he did emphasise the importance of balance when it came to attracting new players and rewarding current ones.
"We've still got some salary cap room; maybe a little less with the improvement of a couple of players over the last bit of time," he said.
"When you try to keep some salary cap space clear, I think it's important for two reasons: you've got to reward players that deserve to be rewarded, and balance with bringing players in, generally speaking, when you've got to pay a little bit more to encourage them across.
"That's not to say money is the be-all and end-all with these decisions.
"We're halfway through a season and the trade period doesn't take place until October so how that plays out for us depends on what plays out with other clubs as well.
"You closely monitor that and we'll continue to do so."
Rance's commitment follows commitments from captain Trent Cotchin and key midfielder Dustin Martin.
Cotchin inked a five-year extension in December last year while Martin signed a two-year deal in February.
"That's the most positive aspect, that it secures our key players – our best key defender, who's in the prime of his career, our captain and Dustin as well," Richardson said.
"We've got Jack and a couple of other key players who are coming out at the end of next year and I'm sure they'll follow suit as well.
"It's consistent with what we're trying to do as a club, which is have real stability but be really united in our efforts.
"It's a sign of unity for the players and also across the whole club."