The GWS Giants have said they are confident of hanging on to 2019 Coleman Medallist Jeremy Cameron but not if Geelong have anything to say about it.
And if the Magpies pull off a massive trade floated by a former recruiter, Collingwood could also be in the hunt.
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While the interest of Essendon has seemingly waned with the aggressive pursuit of the Cats, Cameron has reportedly publicly and privately indicated he wants to stay with GWS.
Earlier on Thursday, Giants CEO Dave Matthews, Channel 7 boss James Warburton and GWS forward coach Steve Johnson met with Cameron at premium steakhouse Rockpool Bar and Grill in Sydney, according to the Herald Sun.
Johnson could be a key with the pair forming a friendship with the former Cats star returning to the club after a coaching stint with the Sydney Swans.
But former Collingwood recruiter Matt Rendell said the Magpies could get in the hunt, if they part ways with star ruckman Brodie Grundy to free salary cap space.
Grundy is on a reported $1m a year and Rendell suggesting a move to the Swans could open the door for the Magpies to chase Cameron.
“I say it with a heavy heart, but I’d be trading Grundy to Sydney Swans if I could,” Rendell told SEN.
“It’s a good fit for the Swans, they need a ruckman badly.
“Here’s my big move. I’m playing Darcy Moore in the ruck. I’d be changing him with (Mason) Cox forward, but if they get Jeremy Cameron, I’d be sending Cox to the Western Bulldogs, who are desperate for a key forward-ruck.
“I know it’s a big call and he’ll be trending on Twitter … but I think that’s how you get the deal done and how you make money in your cap.
“I think it’s a better fit for him (Grundy) … I reckon Sydney would suit his lifestyle.
“I think Brodie might be interested in it and I reckon Collingwood would be interested in it as long they knew they could get Jeremy Cameron with that cap space.”
It could add some spice to an already spicy trade.
Cats CEO Brian Cook said Geelong were “in the market big time” for Cameron on Sportsday WA on Wednesday.
“He‘s struggling with making a decision,” he said. “He‘s a loyal bloke and, 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 that’s being shown and 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.”
Reportedly the Giants have offered Cameron a five-year deal on about $750,000 a season but some believe he might head to Melbourne with 7 News reporting the Cats were looking to offer $800,000.
AFL Media reporter Damian Barrett said the Cats were looking more likely “given the delay and given the chance so far he’s had to say he’s staying”. .
Fellow AFL Media reporter Mitch Cleary said “if Jeremy Cameron doesn’t sign before Geelong’s season is done, then alarm bells are starting to ring at the Giants”.
Fox Footy’s Tom Morris said the Giants could end up matching an offer for Cameron to try and force the Cats into a trade if he nominates a move to Melbourne.
This will be very interesting watching.
DANIHER DEAL GETS MESSY
The Brisbane Lions have started preliminary discussion with Essendon to bring Joe Daniher north but it hasn’t been smooth sailing.
Fox Footy reported the teams may be “forced to do a trade, if the Bombers matched any deal from the Lions”, even though Daniher is free agent at the end of the season.
On $600,000 a season, a contract would likely be the 20th pick in the draft as compensation but as the Bombers showed last season when the Swans were sniffing around Daniher, the club wants more for the forward, despite him playing just 15 games in three seasons through injury.
SEN’s Sam Edmunds’ reported the two parties are struggling to value Daniher’s worth.
“Do you value him at his peak? His wretched last three seasons? Even in his four games this year there was a wild difference between his eye-catching return in Round 14 and his other performances,” he wrote.
The Swans have stayed out of the Daniher hunt this season after a long drawn out saga last season.