Collingwood premiership player Chris Dawes is at the centre of trade rumours with reports up to four rival clubs are fighting for his services next year.
The AFL’s official website has reported that the 24-year-old has asked manager Ben Niall to look at securing a potential trade in the wake of the Pies’ recruitment of West Coast forward Quinten Lynch.
Lynch could play either as a forward or back up ruck – a position Dawes has struggled with this season following the retirement of Leigh Brown.
His manager told afl.com.au’s trade radio the club was happy for him to explore his options.
“The club is aware of the opportunity for Chris outside the footy club,” Niall said.
“It's normal for him and expected for him to at least explore his options, so they're happy for him to do so.
“We're expecting to hear some pretty positive stories around building things around him rather than him being more peripheral.”
Niall said “more than two and less than five” clubs had shown interest in Dawes.
Niall said Dawes had taken half of what he could have earned elsewhere when he signed an extension in October last year, and the length of the contract had been shorter than he could have commanded at another club.
He said there had already been interest from rival clubs, but Dawes had yet to meet with any.
Dawes is reportedly uninterested in moving away from Melbourne, where he is studying law.
Niall said any move wouldn't be relationship based, but links to coaches such as ex-Collingwood assistants Mark Neeld (Melbourne) and Scott Watters (St Kilda) could give him confidence.
Melbourne confirmed its interest in Dawes on Tuesday.
Niall said Dawes was disappointed with the Pies' chosen direction but was realistic about the brutal nature of the industry.
“Obviously his form wasn't as good as 2010 or 2011 up until he broke his knuckle [in round 15].
“I think playing a foreign position may have had a bit of an impact on him.
“His ruck work improved by the end of the year but his main bread and butter is his forward play, so we would like to think that will improve now we've got Lynch.”