The Cats are all in on Jeremy Cameron with the club boldly launching a very-public charm offensive to pry him away from the Giants.
The star forward, the highest paid player in the AFL in 2020, is out of contract at the end of 2020 and is yet to put pen to paper on a new deal with GWS.
The Sydney club is desperate to keep its most prolific goalkicker and GWS football boss Jason McCartney said last month talks between both parties had progressed, but there was “still a bit of work to go” to re-sign him.
Channel 7 AFL reporter Tom Browne said last week Cameron has an offer in front of him from the Giants worth approximately $700,000 a season over five years — a total of $3.5 million — but reports his manager Alex McDonald has also been in contact with the Cats in “recent weeks and recent days”.
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Cats CEO Brian Cook confirmed the swirling rumours surrounding his club’s interest in Cameron with a bold declaration on Wednesday.
“We’re trying to be a destination club and we’re getting a lot of managers knocking on our door and we have discussions with those managers and players,” Cook told Sportsday WA.
“We’re in the market big time at the moment for Jeremy Cameron. He’s struggling with making a decision. He’s a loyal bloke.
“You know the rules when you’ve been around for a long time – do you finish your career in one place or do you get tempted to go elsewhere.
“I think that’s a good character trait being demonstrated by him.
“We’re trying big time for that one. Outside of that there’s a few others we’re talking to, but we’ll just wait and see.”
It’s the first time a Geelong official has publicly confirmed the club’s strong interest in Cameron.
The Cats have also been linked as one of the leading Victorian contenders to lure Crows star Brad Crouch should the midfielder announce he wants out of South Australia.
CLUBS LINING UP FOR STAR CROW
At least six clubs are interested in out-of-contract Adelaide star Brad Crouch, despite his police run-in that has seen him banned for two games.
Crouch and young teammate Tyson Stengle were caught by police with an illicit substance in the early hours of the morning in Adelaide’s CBD last month.
Still, according to a report in the Herald Sun, six rival clubs are ready to pounce if Crouch’s future at the Crows is deemed a lost cause.
Geelong appears in the box seat to secure Crouch, while Port Adelaide is also in the mix should the on-baller wish to remain in South Australia. And until he officially request a move elsewhere, Crouch is still a Crow.
St Kilda has also been linked to Crouch. Richmond and Essendon have also kept a close eye on the Crouch situation, but their respective interest may have diminished slightly according to reports.
Crouch’s manager Gary Winter said no club had pulled out of the race for Crouch yet, telling the Herald Sun: “There is significant interest from a number of clubs and there are open lines of communication with them. We continue to talk to clubs so they all remain in the mix.”
Speaking on FIVEaa, the 26-year-old said he was keen to remain in South Australia if possible, but is still working through things with his manager and is no wiser as to where he’d be playing in 2021.
He says he is unsure how much impact his recent run-in with police will have on contract negotiations.
BOMBERS STAR SIGNS, SAAD DEAL REJECTED
The troubled waters at Essendon have calmed a little further with young best and fairest winner Jordan Ridley signing a long-term deal with the Bombers.
It comes hot on the heels of new contracts for future captain Andrew McGrath and Kyle Langford, but follows the exits of Joe Daniher, Adam Saad and Orazio Fantasia.
Ridley, who is only 21, was a standout for the Bombers in defence and won the club champion award in just his second season, with only 26 games under is belt.
He has signed until the end of 2024 and declared he and the playing group were “not satisfied” with a mediocre 2020 season in which the Bombers missed the finals and faced huge criticism about the club’s culture.
“I’m really grateful to the club for the opportunity to extend my contract, and it was a pretty easy decision to get to,” Ridley said.
Meanwhile, Essendon’s reported demand of Carlton’s first-round pick at the 2020 AFL Draft has reportedly been rejected by Carlton as the two clubs opened up talks surrounding star defender Adam Saad.
The Age reports, Essendon has told the Blues it wants the No. 8 pick at this year’s draft and promising youngster Tom De Koning in exchange for Saad.
Saad last week formally requested a trade from the Bombers with Carlton as his preferred destination.