Luke Jackson ahead of Melbourne's clash with Collingwood in round 21, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

MELBOURNE will kickstart trade talks with Fremantle and West Coast after premiership big man Luke Jackson lodged a trade request to move back to Western Australia.

Jackson has been considered likely to leave the Demons throughout the year after delaying contract talks at Melbourne and then putting off a decision until the end of the year. 

He made that official on Tuesday following the Demons' shock exit from this year's finals race with their defeat to Brisbane in Friday night's semi-final.

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"There is no doubt that we wanted Luke to remain at the Demons, but we respect his decision to want to return home to Western Australia to be closer to his family and friends," Melbourne list manager Tim Lamb said.

"We will now work to secure a deal that compensates the club accordingly."

Jackson has been strongly linked to Fremantle throughout the year, although has not nominated a preferred club, leaving West Coast in the mix to snare him.  

The Dees had been desperate to keep the exciting 21-year-old, who was pick No.3 in the 2019 NAB AFL Draft, after playing a central role in Melbourne's drought-breaking premiership last year.


But now the Demons will be locked in trade talks. If he chooses Fremantle the reigning premiers would be expected to target two first-round picks for Jackson, including a very early selection this year inside the top-10.

The Dockers hold pick 13 in this year's draft, but could look to move up the draft board using other selections, with the club bracing for trade requests from Rory Lobb, Blake Acres and Darcy Tucker, with Griffin Logue also considering a move to Victoria. The Dockers remain the favoured likelihood for Jackson. 

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West Coast holds picks No.2, 20 and 26 this year but as reported in May, would need AFL approval to trade its first pick under League rules. The AFL would be expected to tick that off given Jackson’s age and experience.  

However, the Eagles look set to protect their strong draft hand this year, with pick No.2 not considered likely to be part of a trade package to attempt to land Jackson. 

Jackson will finish his career at Melbourne after playing 52 games across three seasons after the Demons' brave selection of the young ruckman paid dividends with his brilliant third quarter performance in last year's Grand Final win over the Western Bulldogs. 

He shared ruck duties with captain Max Gawn this season as well as playing in the forward line.

Melbourne doesn't have a first-round pick at this year's draft, having traded it last year in a picks deal that saw it land with Sydney.