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Josh Dunkley’s manager says it’s “ludicrous” to think the Western Bulldogs would rather walk the midfielder to the pre-season draft instead of working out a deal with Brisbane this trade period.

Player manager Liam Pickering said he remains “confident” a deal could get done to send Dunkley north to the Lions – the club he nominated last month.

Pickering said rumours the Dogs would turn down a Brisbane deal to “make a point” after demanding two first round picks didn’t make sense.

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“That’d be ludicrous. They’d get nothing for him. That’s just cutting off your nose to spite your face and you end up with nothing for him,” Pickering said on SEN.

“I think it should be getting done and I would hope that would be the case. I don’t think the Bulldogs fans would be all that thrilled if they let him go for nothing like to make a point, it doesn’t make any sense to me.

“What point are you making? You’re making a point that you’re weakening your draft hand.”

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Pickering said it was clear Dunkley didn’t want to return to the Bulldogs, as he did at the end of 2020 when a deal couldn’t be reached for a trade to Essendon.

“He doesn’t want to be at the Bulldogs; he wants to be at Brisbane, so hopefully the two teams can work out something they’re all happy with,” Pickering said.

“He wants to move to Queensland, He said it publicly.”

Negotiations have reached a stalemate, with Brisbane needing to hold on to a heavy draft hand to match bids on father-son selections Will Ashcroft and Jaspa Fletcher next month.

As it currently stands, the Lions traded away their earliest pick – which was 15 – and now have 21 as their first selection.

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It’s believed that pick and a future first rounder are on the table for Dunkley – but it’s below the 12 and 19 Richmond paid for Tim Taranto just days ago.

“They’ve got a good relationship Josh and the coach (Luke Beveridge), so I would hope it wouldn’t end up in that situation because I think that would be a poor reflection when they have got a good relationship,” Pickering said.

“This time (of year) everyone’s posturing so I get it.

“I don’t know whether they’re bluffing or not. I know what they want and I know what Brisbane have offered, so they need to work through it the two of them.

“I don’t think they (Brisbane’s and Bulldogs’ offers) are far apart, I personally don’t, but that’s not how the Bulldogs are obviously seeing it at the moment.”

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Pickering said even if the two clubs could come to an agreement, nothing could be lodged until Monday at the earliest.

But even then, Pickering doubted any trade for Dunkley would be done that soon.

“This will go the distance I think. It’s unfortunate, I think it could be knocked over on Monday,” he lamented.

Dunkley is a Dogs premiership player and now a club best and fairest after taking out the Charlie Sutton Medal just days ago.


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