A member of Melbourne’s best 22 has reportedly agreed to move interstate.
Plus the contracted Cat meeting with rival clubs amid plenty of interest, and WA sides trying to lure QLD-based talent home.
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DEMONS SPEEDSTER ‘AGREES TO’ EAGLES DEAL
Melbourne dasher Jayden Hunt will sign a three-year deal to join West Coast, reports Nine Perth’s Paddy Sweeney.
The halfback/wingman met with Eagles coach Adam Simpson in Perth this week and is set to make the move across the Nullarbor.
Hunt, 27, is an unrestricted free agent meaning he can move at any time now that free agency has opened. It runs until next Friday evening.
After an ankle injury saw him fall out of and then fail to get back into the 2021 premiership side, Hunt earned his spot back in the Melbourne best 22 for Round 1 this year.
He went on to play 20 games including both finals, taking his career total to 114 games since his 2016 debut.
Hunt was the 57th pick in the 2013 national draft out of East Sandringham.
Fellow Melbourne speedster Toby Bedford has a three-year deal on the table to remain at the club but also has interest from Essendon and GWS.
CONTRACTED CAT MEETS WITH POWER COACH
Geelong tall Esava Ratugolea has met with Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley and footy boss Chris Davies at club headquarters as he weighs up his footy future, reports Seven.
Ratugolea, a ruck-forward who played in defence at VFL level for the Cats this past season, toured Alberton on Thursday.
The 24-year-old has been in and out of the Geelong side over the last few years, playing a career-best 20 games in 2019 including all three finals, kicking three goals in the semi-final win over West Coast.
He then played 15 games in 2021, including the semi and preliminary finals, before just four games in 2022.
Ratugolea is contracted for the 2023 season and it’s unclear whether Geelong would consider trading him, but multiple clubs are set to be interested in him and he has fallen back in the pecking order. The looming addition of Collingwood forward Ollie Henry would only put him further back.
He has been floated as a trade target for GWS over the last few off-seasons, as far back as the Jeremy Cameron trade, and could be involved in the looming Tanner Bruhn deal this year.
Ratugolea isn’t the only Cat gaining interest from Port Adelaide, as they’re likely to sign delisted small forward Francis Evans.
The Power pledged to be aggressive this trade period and are the front-runners to land Richmond’s Jack Graham, with a second-round pick the likely price for him.
The Power received a second-round pick (currently No.27) as compensation for Karl Amon’s move to Hawthorn in free agency, a pick which is unlikely to be enough to secure West Coast’s Junior Rioli in a straight-up trade.
Papley set to be a Swan for life! | 00:44
QLD-BASED SANDGROPERS BEING CHASED BY WA CLUBS
Fremantle and West Coast are eyeing moves for Queensland-based talent with Gold Coast’s Jeremy Sharp and Brisbane’s Deven Robertson eyed by those clubs respectively.
Both the Dockers and Eagles have shown interest in Suns midfielder Sharp, who is one of the few Gold Coast players mentioned in trade talks the club is not trying to off-load for salary cap reasons.
Fremantle is the front-runner for Sharp according to Seven Perth’s Ryan Daniels. A trade would need to be organised for the 20-year-old, who grew up in Perth and played for East Fremantle at WAFL Colts level.
Meanwhile West Coast is keen on contracted Brisbane midfielder Deven Robertson, reports The West, who worked his way into the Lions’ side during the finals series as a defensive option.
Robertson is the nephew of Eagles great Darren Glass and was viewed a future leader even during his draft year.
The 21-year-old could be forced out of the Brisbane midfield by the arrival of Josh Dunkley, but is believed to have been told he’ll have a spot in the best 22 next year and is more likely to see out his contract for 2023.