Fremantle's quest to find another key forward is almost certain to have to change direction after Essendon said they were confident of keeping Scott Gumbleton.
The Dockers have been working hard to find a tall forward to help captain Matthew Pavlich.
Gumbleton, who has a long history of injuries, had a medical with Fremantle while in WA recently.
But Essendon manager of player personnel Adrian Dodoro said the Bombers were close to securing Gumbleton for next year.
"We're pretty confident that we'll get a pretty positive resolution very, very shortly," Dodoro told AFL Trade Radio.
"He's been a young man that's gone through a hell of a lot over the past six years, with his injuries, but he's finally got on top of it.
"I think all the Bombers fans would love to see him play to his full potential next year."
Gumbleton, 24, has also been courted by Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs.
He has managed just 28 AFL games in six seasons since being drafted from Peel Thunder as the second pick in the 2006 draft.
Meanwhile, West Coast midfielder Koby Stevens will announce his preferred club by the end of the week. Stevens has struggled for opportunities at West Coast and wants to move back to Victoria.Stevens has been speaking with Essendon, St Kilda and the Western Bulldogs. Dodoro said the Dons were wary of West Coast's expectations for a trade.
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