A front runner emerges in the race for Dan McStay, but there’s a twist.
And why Fremantle coach Justin Longmuir refuses to comment on his club’s interest in Demon Luke Jackson.
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WILL MCSTAY HEAD HOME TO VICTORIA?
Collingwood has reportedly offered Brisbane’s Dan McStay a five-year deal worth close to $3 million.
The Age is reporting the Magpies as the frontrunners in the race to snare McStay’s signature for 2023 and beyond.
The Lions have reportedly bumped up their offer from a three-year deal to five, at close to $500,000 a year.
McStay, a free agent, is yet to make a call on his future and a potential return home to Victoria.
It’s no secret Collingwood have been searching for a key forward to play alongside the club’s leading goal kicker for the past three seasons, Brody Mihocek.
The 29-year-old Mihocek has been playing a solo role forward as the only big target to kick more than 20 goals a year since 2019.
Already in 2022, Mihocek leads the way for the Magpies with 26 goals, with Jack Ginnivan second with 22 and young Oliver Henry sitting on 18 for the year.
But the McStay deal could hinge on what Jordan de Goey opts to do with his future.
If de Goey opts to depart the Magpies when he comes out of contract at the end of the season, The Age reports Collingwood’s compensation pick comes into play – and opens up the possibility of a trade for McStay instead.
The Lions have previously expressed their confidence that McStay will want to remain in Queensland.
“We’d like to think he’d stay and we’ll have some more good times in the next couple of years,” CEO Greg Swann told SEN last month.
“He’s got a couple of properties up here, his partner is a local girl … the discussions are pretty fruitful. Hopefully we can get Dan to stay – he’s a good player.”
WHERE DOES JACKSON’S HEART LIE?
It was reported young Luke Jackson would take time off in the bye round to decide his future – if it sits with reigning premiers Melbourne or back home in WA.
Jackson did head home for the mid-season break, but is yet to announce any contract news.
“Melbourne’s agitating for an answer from Luke Jackson over his playing future,” SEN’s Sam Edmund reported.
“After a bye weekend spent weighing up his playing future, Jackson is yet to decide where he wants to play.
“Melbourne have always been confident, but they are wanting now some sort of sign here from their player. As it stands, it’s not coming.
“So they wait, and they wait nervously as the second half of the year rolls on.”
Club general manager Alan Richardson said he was still confident Jackson would remain at Melbourne.
“We’ll give ‘Jacko’ as much time as he needs. He’s a young fella. We’re working through that with his manager. We think he’s going to be a Melbourne player for a long time, so we’re reasonably comfortable with where that sits,” he said on SEN.
“Of course, we’d rather have that done and dusted given the stage of the year, but we’re comfortable with where it sits.
“Really importantly, right from the outset we’ve said to Jacko and to his management group TLA that we’ll give them as much time as they need and that’s the way it’s playing out.”
Richardson’s comments come just a week after reports of an extraordinary seven-year, $10.5 million offer from Fremantle were quickly shot down.
But he did concede there would be interest from rival clubs.
“I would be staggered if there wasn’t. They wouldn’t be doing their job. A young bloke with his talent, we’ve got no doubt that would be happening, but as I said, we’re pretty comfortable with where it sits from our end,” he said.
When asked directly why he remained confident Jackson would stay, Richardson said it was a “reflection of the conversations” the club had with the 20-year-old.
Fremantle coach Justin Longmuir refused to comment on his club’s interest in Jackson when asked on Wednesday.
“It‘s not my job to talk about those sorts of things publicly, and I’ve probably done that in the past with players and regretted it straight away,” he said.
“If the shoe was on the other foot I wouldn’t want opposition coaches talking about my players that way. It’s not really for me to publicly comment on.
“I’m involved on list management committee and talk about our players constantly and players around the comp constantly, like every coach would and every list management committee would.”
It is expected Jackson will demand around $800,000 per year with his next deal.