Every Thursday AFL.com.au presents Inside Trading, with breaking news and the best analysis of the Continental Tyres AFL Trade Period covering contracts, re-signings, free agents, the NAB AFL Draft and industry insights. 

DOGS LOCK AWAY ALL-AUSTRALIAN FREE AGENT

WITH the ink still drying on Caleb Daniel's new contract, the Western Bulldogs have locked away another Therabody AFL All-Australian defender.

AFL.com.au can reveal the club has re-signed star half-back Bailey Dale for the next five seasons.

The 25-year-old was out of contract at the end of October and being pursued by rival clubs, but will now remain at Whitten Oval until at least the end of 2027.

After making slow progress on the contract front in the first half of the season, it is understood that talks ramped up between the club and Dale's management in recent weeks with a deal struck following the mid-season bye.

Bailey Dale in action during a Western Bulldogs training session at Whitten Oval on June 15, 2022. Picture: Getty Images

It completes a remarkable transformation for the Dandenong Stingrays product, who started his career as a forward and played 59 games across his first six years before producing a career-best season in 2021 after moving positions.

Dale earned an All-Australian blazer after the move to half-back and is in the conversation for back-to-back selections after continuing his emergence as one of the best rebounding defenders in the business.

After announcing a four-year extension for Daniel on Wednesday, the Western Bulldogs have now re-signed two of their best defenders in the space of two days, allowing list manager Sam Power to turn his attention to other priorities.

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Star ruckman Tim English is yet to put pen to paper, but he is set to turn his back on offers from home in Western Australia and finalise a new deal soon.

Power and the list management team will now focus on negotiating new deals for star midfielders Bailey Smith and Josh Dunkley in the coming months. – Josh Gabelich

PEARCE ON TRACK FOR DOCKER DEAL

FREMANTLE has offered key defender Alex Pearce a three-year contract extension as it looks to lock away the in-form free agent.

Pearce, who is in the final season of a deal he signed in 2019, is a restricted free agent but contract talks have started positively and there is confidence the 27-year-old will re-commit beyond this season.

The rangy defender's signature would be another fillip for the club after the recent long-term extension signed by rising defender Hayden Young, who is now tied to the club until the end of 2027.

Alex Pearce leads Fremantle out ahead of the R12 clash against Brisbane on June 5, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

Pearce has been one of the AFL's standout key defenders in 2022, marshalling the League's best defensive unit and regularly shutting down the opposition's most dangerous key forward.

A respected leader at Fremantle, the Tasmanian has captained the club several times this year in the absence of skipper Nat Fyfe and is heavily invested in the direction of the club after pushing through a long rebuild.

He has put his injury issues behind him this season, playing all but one game after missing the round four clash against Greater Western Sydney with an ankle complaint. – Nathan Schmook

GOLDY STILL TO MAKE CALL ON FUTURE

NORTH Melbourne veteran Todd Goldstein insists he has not yet had any conversations about his future at the Arden Street club, but has revealed he wants to play on into a 17th AFL season next year.

Goldstein is uncontracted beyond season 2022, though rival clubs have already started linking the 201cm ruckman with a move away from the rebuilding Kangaroos to prolong his career at the campaign's end.

Set to turn 34 next month, Goldstein remains one of the AFL's premier tap ruckmen and believes he still has plenty left in the tank for at least another year of football after playing every game so far this season.

"At this point, I definitely want to play on," Goldstein told AFL.com.au.

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Todd Goldstein takes a screamer in front of goal for the Kangaroos

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"I'm definitely keen to play on. But everyone has a line. My family has to be happy for me to continue playing and a lot of other factors come into it, but at this point I definitely think I've got a lot more to give."

Goldstein is yet to decide whether he will continue his career at North Melbourne, though, with the club continuing to take a firm focus on rejuvenating its playing list after a disappointing 1-12 start to the season.

As revealed by AFL.com.au earlier this month, Kangaroos ruckman Tristan Xerri recently turned down rival interest to sign a three-year contract extension while fellow youngster Callum Coleman-Jones was acquired from Richmond last season.

Callum Coleman-Jones celebrates a goal during the R8 clash between North Melbourne and Fremantle at Optus Stadium on May 6, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

"Obviously, it's hard not to think about what could be next when you're out of contract. But, for me, I'm just really enjoying focusing on the week-to-week stuff and helping the young kids grow and spending time with the younger guys here," Goldstein said.

"I know that my manager Tommy Petroro has got my best interests at hand and he'll present to me what he thinks are my best options. But, at this point, we haven't had any conversations like that so I have no idea what he's thinking.

"I know from now on that any year could be my last year, so I'm just trying to enjoy being in the industry and enjoying every game that I play and doing the best that I can." – Riley Beveridge

IMPORTANT SAINT CLOSING ON NEW DEAL

ST KILDA is set to reward lockdown small defender Ben Paton for his superb comeback this season, with the promising youngster on the cusp of inking a fresh two-year contract extension.

It's understood talks are progressing well between Paton and the Saints on a new deal, with the club keen to recognise the 23-year-old's return from a season on the sidelines with a broken leg.

Ben Paton in action during the round 10 clash between St Kilda and Adelaide on May 21, 2022. Picture: Getty Images

Paton played 35 games across his first three seasons on St Kilda's list, but suffered an unfortunate broken tibia and fibula during pre-season match simulation drills that kept him out for the entirety of the 2021 campaign.

Despite the setback, Paton's standing at the club has been highlighted by the fact he was sent straight back into Brett Ratten's team for round one this season and has played all 12 games so far this year.

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The new deal is likely to ensure Paton's future at the club until at least 2024, marking another significant re-signing for the Saints as they look to lock away a spot in the top-four in the back half of the season.

The club is in talks to re-sign important ruckman Rowan Marshall, while it also needs to decide on veteran Paddy Ryder's future, with improved defender Josh Battle another coming towards the end of his contract this season. – Riley Beveridge

SUNS LOOK TO BUILD ON SOLID FOUNDATION

GOLD Coast is confident that it has put its past player retention issues behind it, saying the club has officially turned a corner as it looks to continue locking away a host of its best young players.

As flagged by AFL.com.au's Inside Trading last week, the Suns expect gun South Australian duo Jack Lukosius and Izak Rankine to commit their long-term futures to the club and re-sign at Metricon Stadium imminently.

It would follow two-year deals signed by important forward pair Ben King and Ben Ainsworth earlier this season, a five-year extension penned by Touk Miller late last year and another long-term contract agreed to by Sam Collins in 2021.

Sam Collins ahead of Gold Coast's clash with Collingwood in round seven, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

Now, the club is looking to build on its series of significant re-signings and continue to attract elite players to the club, having agreed deals for Richmond's Mabior Chol, Adelaide's Rory Atkins and Fremantle's Lachie Weller in recent years.

"In any club, you've just got to provide a really good environment whereby players aren't looking to go elsewhere and I feel like we're doing that," Suns football boss Wayne Campbell told AFL.com.au.

"I think it probably turned a while ago, but I think there's an environment here – both at the football club, but also the physical space that we live in on the Gold Coast – that's pretty attractive.

"There's the beach, the weather, and being out of the searing spotlight of Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide. Personally, I think that's a real competitive advantage. I think we take advantage of that pretty well." – Riley Beveridge