HAWTHORN has put an improved five-year offer to Lance Franklin that it is confident will convince the superstar forward to turn his back on free agency, Hawks president Andrew Newbold says.

Newbold told Channel Nine's The Sunday Footy Show the Hawks' new offer to Franklin was probably the most lucrative long-term contract ever offered to a Hawthorn player.

"We have put a new offer [to Franklin], it's a pretty good offer and as I said we're in his hands on when he'll come back to us," Newbold said.

"It's a pretty respectful offer bearing in mind the quality of the player that he is. He is a marquee player and we're keen to have him stay."

Speculation has raged about Franklin's future since he told the Hawks in February he wanted to put off contract talks until the end of the season.

The latest free agency and contract news

The restricted free agent has been aggressively pursued by Greater Western Sydney, with the Giants reportedly set to make him an offer of up to $10 million over six years.

Asked whether he expected Franklin to turn his back on such riches to remain at the Hawks, Newbold said Franklin's teammates believed he would re-sign.

"The feedback I'm getting from the playing group is that he will stay," Newbold said.

"I've never seen him happier and the thing about Buddy is I just really like him as a bloke and I'd love him to stay at Hawthorn.

"I think Hawthorn is building a great culture. During the week we had Cyril Rioli come and re-sign for another three years to 2017 and I think those type of indicators tell you that we're building something pretty special."

In April Newbold said the Hawks would demand an answer from Franklin before the end of the season so they had time to assess their post-season recruiting needs.

However, Newbold backflipped on that position on Sunday. 

"We're in his hands. Free agency allows him to leave it until the end of the year, so we're stuck with that and we're pretty comfortable with it," Newbold said.

The Lance Franklin dilemma

Newbold said Hawthorn list manager Graham Wright was speaking to Franklin's manager, Liam Pickering, about the spearhead's future every week.

Under free agency's existing compensation system, Hawthorn will receive one first-round pick if Franklin leaves, a selection that would be around pick No.20 if the Hawks win the Grand Final.

Although that might seem scant compensation for a player of Franklin's standing, Newbold said the Hawks accepted the system and would not be "whinging" about it.

Meanwhile, Hawthorn football manager James Fantasia remains on personal leave after being hospitalised last month, but Newbold expected he would return to the club once he recovered.

"I understand he's pretty sick and obviously from our point of view we wish him well and hope he recovers pretty quickly," Newbold said.

"I haven't had direct talks with him but as a club we're pretty focused on pastoral care for our people and we've said to him take as long as you like."

Nick Bowen is a reporter with AFL Media. Follow him on Twitter: @AFL_Nick