Adelaide and Melbourne have drawn the battle lines in the fight for a fair deal for Jake Lever at this year’s AFL trade period.
On Tuesday Lever confirmed his long-expected desire to be traded to the Demons after 56 games across three seasons with the Crows.
“I’ll be going back to Melbourne to be with family and friends and I’ve nominated the Melbourne Football Club,” Lever told Channel Seven.
“They’re young, they’re exciting to watch and they’ve shown great interest in me.
“If there’s not (a trade
Lever has established himself as a top-quality intercept defender since he was the 14th overall pick
“We’re in discussions with a number of Melbourne-based teams and at the end of the day, he’s not a free agent,” Adelaide football chief Brett Burton told AFL Trade Radio.
“It’s irrelevant to myself and the Adelaide footy club where he wants to go to. We’ll deal with whoever gives the best value.”
Burton said it was clear Lever’s decision was financially motivated and that the Crows weren’t prepared to make the 21-year-old the highest-paid player at the club.
Lever’s departure is expected to allow the Crows the room to take another run
Charlie Cameron has been touted as a target for Brisbane but Adelaide
The AFL’s annual player market doesn’t start until next Monday, but there were plenty of developments on the trade front on Tuesday.
A frustrated and disappointed Jack Watts remains hopeful he can continue with the Demons next season, despite Simon Goodwin’s encouragement to look elsewhere.
Geelong’s pursuit of Gary Ablett will be another trade talking point but Cats premiership skipper Cameron Ling warned the club not to jeopardise their future to land the two-time Brownlow Medal winner.
Ling doesn’t want Geelong to trade a draft pick with a youngster like Darcy Lang or Wylie Buzza to Gold Coast for Ablett.
Steven Motlop, who was shopped around by the Cats last year, toured the Suns’ facilities on Tuesday.
“It’s all part of the process … I’ve got a lot to work out with my future,” Motlop told Channel Seven.
Fallen star Jake Stringer will take some extra time to work
His agent Paul Connors told reporters on Tuesday that his client wasn’t enjoying the process of finding a new club.
Rising Brisbane star Josh Schache has been linked with a move back to Victoria despite signing a new deal, but his manager expects him to remain at the club.