Essendon appears set to finally get some good news as the embattled club stumbles from one disaster to the next.
Plus why the Dogs are adamant they want more than pick 21 and a future first rounder for premiership player Josh Dunkley.
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WHY DOGS WANT ‘MARKET VALUE’ FOR DUNKLEY
The Josh Dunkley stalemate is set to go down to the wire, with reports the Western Bulldogs could walk him to the pre-season draft if Brisbane don’t up their offer.
The deal reportedly on the table for Dunkley is pick 21 and a future first rounder.
But AFL great Jimmy Bartel says the earlier deal for Tim Taranto – where Richmond coughed up picks 12 and 19 for the Giants mid – is likely affecting the Dogs’ demands.
“The Bulldogs want what they feel is fair value for a best and fairest winner, premiership player who’s in great form,” he said on Sportsday Radio.
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“They are probably looking at the Tim Taranto deal, saying ‘Well 12 and 19 got Taranto done – two firsties – we think we’re asking probably what’s market value’.
“The threat becomes real (of Dunkley missing out on a Brisbane move) if the Bulldogs get on the phone or they are ahead of them (in the draft) and retake him.”
Dunkley has played just two more AFL games than Taranto; both are club best and fairests, while Taranto was taken with pick two in the 2016 draft, while Dunkley went at pick 25 in 2015.
Dunkley is also a Bulldogs premiership player from 2016.
The midfielder has nominated Brisbane as his club of choice, as the out of contract 25-year-old looks to move away from Footscray.
But complicating a deal for Dunkley is the fact the Lions need to hold onto at least 3000 draft points to ward off early bids on father-son duo Will Ashcroft and Jaspa Fletcher in the upcoming draft.
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Ashcroft is widely regarded as the best player in the draft, meaning the Lions would need at least 2400 points alone to match a pick one bid on him.
Footy journalist Mark Stevens says not only does the Taranto deal come into consideration for the Dogs’ demands, but so does the 2021 trade for Docker Adam Cerra.
“The Lions are throwing up Rhys Mathieson’s the only gettable player – that’s laughable to be honest,” he said on RSN Radio.
“That’s just a farcical situation. Certainly it would take more than Rhys Mathieson.
“You want about 12 and 19 which is exactly what Taranto is.
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“If Taranto is worth 12 and 19, surely Dunkley’s worth more than that? (Pick) 21’s not 12.
“Compare to Adam Cerra – Dunkley’s more versatile, a better CV, more reliable and a better footballer than Adam Cerra. And he’s 25.
“Pick six and a future third Carlton gave up (to Fremantle for Cerra). That’s a lot more than what Dunkley’s (offered for trade).
“21 and the future first round pick that could be around 20 – it’s just not enough.”
ESSENDON MAKE THEIR MOVE
The Bombers could secure Blues star Will Setterfield as early as Monday, according to reports.
7News and The Herald Sun report the Bombers are expected to seal the deal over the weekend with a later round draft pick expected to get the deal done.
“Former top five pick Will Setterfield is attracting strong interest from the Bombers as they chase a ready-made midfielder,” 7NEWS reporter Mitch Cleary said.
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“Talks with his management and Essendon expected to pick up over the weekend.”
Setterfield is without a new deal at the Blues, despite list boss Nick Austin this week stating the club would “love to retain Will”.
“In a perfect world, we’d love to retain Will. We’ve been pretty clear on that,” Carlton list boss Nick Austin said.
“Again, he’s got the desire to play AFL footy and if it’s at Carlton or if there’s an opportunity elsewhere, then that’s something he’s got to weigh up.”
Setterfield’s addition would be welcome news for the club in crisis, which is yet to strike a blow this trade period.
“Will Setterfield, quality person, you always need quality people in your club,” Matt Rendell said on AFL Trade Radio.
“I reckon they would get him for a second round (pick) at best, they might even get him for a third round.
“They could use an inside tough mid and allow (Dylan) Shiel and (Zach) Merrett to play on the outside.”
It has been a tough few weeks for the Bombers after the club was rejected by Bulldogs star Josh Dunkley, who instead asked for a trade to Brisbane, Gold Coast’s Jack Bowes, who is expected to join Geelong, and were knocked back by Melbourne’s James Harmes after he met with the club earlier this week.
The club is also losing tall defender Aaron Francis, who has requested a trade to Sydney.
Setterfield, who was originally selected by GWS with the fifth pick of the 2016 Draft, played 13 games for Carlton this year.