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‘If he’s toxic?’: AFL split on superstar

Footy legend Garry Lyon has identified the exact conundrum Collingwood is wrestling with in its high profile contract stand-off with superstar Jordan De Goey.Lyon, Bombers great Matthew Lloyd and a host of footy commentators have been left divided over the star forward’s reported contract demands of $1 million per-season.Watch the 2020 Toyota AFL Finals Series…

Footy legend Garry Lyon has identified the exact conundrum Collingwood is wrestling with in its high profile contract stand-off with superstar Jordan De Goey.

Lyon, Bombers great Matthew Lloyd and a host of footy commentators have been left divided over the star forward’s reported contract demands of $1 million per-season.

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It comes after Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley and president Eddie McGuire both addressed the monetary sticking point in the ongoing contract negotiations which have left De Goey without a deal for the 2021 season just weeks away from the AFL 2020 Trade Period.

With reports emerging on Monday night that rivals Carlton have pulled out of the fight for de Goey’s signature after being scared off by the reported $1 million price tag, Lyon said Collingwood has to take the gamble by paying De Goey top dollar.

He said if Collingwood doesn’t, somebody else will — and the club simply has to accept the consequences.

Lyon told SEN Breakfast on Tuesday morning he would be willing to pay De Goey $800,000 per season.

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He admits to being concerned by unsubstantiated rumours surrounding De Goey’s training routines and his hot-and-cold form, but is prepared to accept the risk because of the possible benefit of De Goey delivering his devastating top form.

“I wouldn’t pay a million bucks for him (per season), but someone will pay $800,000 (per season),” he said.

“Because when he did come back he turned a game on its head on his own. Not many players can do that.

“If he’s toxic, no? I’m prepared to live with the vagaries that come with the mercurial, wildcard talent. To a point, and then you cut them.”

Lloyd said De Goey’s value has slipped from earlier this year before he suffered a serious finger injury.

He did not return in the same destructive form that lit-up the competition earlier in 2020.

“After seeing the way their season has come to an end, they have to be aggressive with their list,” Lloyd said on Channel 9’s Footy Classified.

“If your best result in the best and fairest is eighth when you’ve been at the club five or six years you can’t really command $800,000 (per-season). I think they’re well within their rights.

“I think for $800 grand (per-season) you’re looking at a Lachie Neale or a (Marcus) Bontempelli, or I’ll throw up another name, Jeremy Cameron.

“He is the player they need. People will say, ‘He had a shocking year this year’, but I think when he’s engaged he’s a more consistent player and he’s got the runs on the board that Jordan De Goey doesn’t.

Meanwhile, former Carlton tagger Tom Bugg also suggested on Twitter it was silly to question De Goey’s value as an out-and-out superstar.

“Remember when Richmond nearly lost Dusty because the didn’t want to pay him $600K De Goey is a very special player and he is only 24. The only other player similar is (Christian) Petracca,” he wrote on Twitter.

“Pay him exactly what he wants.”

Buckley on Saturday night suggested money was the main sticking point in the ongoing contract negotiations between the club and De Goey after the club was belted out of the 2020 AFL Finals at the hands of Geelong at the Gabba.

Buckley’s comments have been widely interpreted as a shot at De Goey’s father, who has taken up the role of manager since De Goey elected to head into his contract-negotiation season without any official AFL accredited player agent.

DEMONS DESPERATE CONTRACT SPLURGE

Footy commentators have described Melbourne’s five-year contract extension with popular club hero Jack Viney as a “desperate” attempt to stop him leaving.

Viney last week shunned free agency by agreeing to a monster contract extension that will take him well into his 30s.

Former Port Adelaide star Kane Cornes told Footy Classified on Monday night he couldn’t believe the terms.

“I was kind of shocked when I saw that tenure of five years,” he said.

Former Footy Show host Craig Hutchison said it was clear the Demons were concerned about Viney leaving.

It was reported earlier this year that Geelong was interested in making a play for Viney.

“It felt like don’t go money,” Hutchison said.

“It felt like the type of money you get when people fear the consequence of it being seen that you’re leaving when he’s such a famous name at the club.”

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