St Kilda’s Ben Long has announced he wants to be traded to the Gold Coast Suns.
Long has managed 79 games for the Saints since making his debut in 2017, and was offered a new deal with the club earlier in the year.
He was the subject of trade speculation last year, with rumours Essendon were interested in luring the 25-year-old from St Kilda.
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At the time, Long was held to just 15 games that season – with four as the sub, but remained contracted for another year.
But Long, the nephew of Bombers great Michael Long, has announced he wishes to head north to the Suns to continue his career – not remain in Victoria.
St Kilda list manger James Gallagher said the club was “disappointed” by news Long wished to depart.
“Ben has had a contract offer from the club for a number of months now, so we’re naturally disappointed to receive this news, particularly as we believe Ben has a lot of good football in front of him,” Gallagher said.
“While the option to stay at the Saints remains, and we would be disappointed to see Ben go, we will work with the Suns to see if an appropriate trade can be reached.”
Long was snapped up by St Kilda with their first pick in the 2016 draft.
Long’s proposed arrival could help offset the departure of forward Izak Rankine, who informed the club he wishes to be traded to Adelaide.
But the Crows are reportedly playing hard ball for the deal for Rankine, and “digging their heels in”.
Rankine is reportedly accepting an $850,000 deal to return home to play in South Australia.
Long was recruited as a forward under former coach Alan Richardson, and has played at times in attack under Brett Ratten, so he could help fill Rankine’s void.