Port Adelaide is set to ramp up its interest in Josh Dunkley this week, with the club reportedly prepared to part with an early pick to land him.
Plus the Giants are now expected to lose a gun midfielder to the Cats.
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PORT’S LIKELY OFFER FOR DUNKLEY AS RACE RAMPS UP
Port Adelaide’s bid to lure Josh Dunkley to Alberton will ramp up this week — and the club will reportedly be prepared to part with a single first-round pick for the premiership Bulldog, reports the Herald Sun.
With the Western Bulldogs’ 2022 campaign ending on Saturday night after their elimination final loss to Fremantle, speculation around Dunkley’s future will now intensify.
The Dogs are keen to retain Dunkley — who’s been sitting on a long-term contract offer from the club for months and said in May there was “no real rush” to re-sign — and haven’t given up hope he’ll stay.
But rival clubs believe there’s now a strong chance Dunkley will look for a fresh start elsewhere.
The 25-year-old has attracted significant interest from both the Power and Lions throughout this year, with The Age reporting Port’s offer was “considered more attractive” than Brisbane’s.
Adding to the South Australian connection intrigue is the fact Dunkley is the partner of Tippah Dwan, who’s a shooter with the Adelaide Thunderbirds in the Suncorp Super Netball competition.
The Herald Sun reported the Power had offered Dunkley a long-term deal worth around $650,000 per season, which is a similar figure to what the Dogs are offering.
As Dunkley doesn’t yet quality for free agency, he could only move clubs via trade. The Herald Sun reported the Power would be happy to offer a one first-round pick in exchange for Dunkley. Their first selection at this year’s draft is Pick 8, which will slide to Pick 9 after an inevitably early bid on Lions father-son prospect Will Ashcroft.
Dunkley was one of the Dogs’ best in their disappointing loss to Fremantle in Perth on Saturday night, finishing with 23 disposals, 15 contested possessions, 14 tackles and seven clearances.
Dogs coach Luke Beveridge said it would be financial opportunity, not soiled relationship, that could see Dunkley, or any other player, leave the club.
“We’re desperate; we hope Josh is going to stay. But I can’t tell you whether he is or whether he isn’t,” he said.
“I can tell you absolutely that the relationships are really strong. If there is a reason to leave the club, it might be for opportunity and the short lifespan of an AFL footy, you have to make hay financially as much as you can, and we understand that.
“That’s the reality that is difficult to deal with or process culturally. But it is going to be more and more normalised. We have to get used to it.”
Dunkley two years ago requested a trade to Essendon mid-Bulldogs contract, but the deal fell over as the Bombers weren’t willing to offer two first-round picks to grab him.
A 2016 premiership player, Dunkley has played 116 games for the Bulldogs since being selected with Pick 25 in the 2015 draft.
— with NCA Newswire
GEELONG LIKELY TO LAND YOUNG GIANT
Geelong looms as the likely destination for Giants midfielder Jacob Hopper, according to senior AFL reporter Damian Barrett.
It emerged last month that Hopper, a member of the 2021 All-Australian 40-man squad, was the Cats’ No. 1 target, despite having one a year to run on his Giants contract.
It comes amid more Giants salary cap issues, with Tim Taranto, Bobby Hill and Tanner Bruhn also linked to moves away from the club.
Hopper had also attracted interest from Richmond and Adelaide. But Speaking on Channel 9’s The Sunday Footy Show, AFL Media reporter Damian Barrett said Hopper would likely don the blue and white hoops in 2023.
“They are still a mess the Giants when it comes to the salary cap,” Barrett told The Sunday Footy Show.
“Jacob Hopper is contracted for 2023, but the Cats have done a lot of work behind the scenes to get him to want to go to Geelong.
“While he is contracted for the Giants, I expect him to be playing for the Cats next year.”
As Hopper is contracted to the Giants until the end of the 2023 season, Geelong would need to strike a trade in order to land the on-baller.