AFL trade intrigue begins

As 16 of the AFL’s clubs met at the Westpac Centre on Tuesday for informal talks before the trades begin, disenchanted Essendon player Paddy Ryder was in Adelaide to meet Port Adelaide.

Ryder will meet Power coach Ken Hinkley and several key players, including former Essendon teammate Angus Monfries. The Power will make its pitch to Ryder, who has indicated he wants to quit the Bombers, but has also indicated he does not want to do the wrong thing by the club in a deal to leave.

Ryder also met Greater Western Sydney at the weekend and has previously met with the Brisbane Lions.

Port Adelaide or the Lions remain the most likely destination for Ryder. Port’s advantage lies in the fact it is prepared to trade its first-round pick (No.16), while Brisbane has indicated it would not trade its first pick (No.4) for Ryder. The Lions’ second-round pick, which they are prepared to trade for him, is No.22.

Melbourne free agent James Frawley is yet to make a decision on his future, with Hawthorn believed to have rekindled interest in the defender. The Hawks had initially been interested but went cold on the idea.

Geelong and Fremantle have made similar offers for the former All-Australian, believed to be five years at up to $600,000 a year.

Ryder’s future was the centre of discussions on Tuesday as all but two AFL clubs gathered to informally begin discussions on the month ahead. Essendon declined the invitation to attend and Greater Western Sydney had other commitments in Canberra.

The talks were organised by Fremantle’s Brad Lloyd, to capitalise on the timing of clubs being in Melbourne for the Brownlow Medal count and grand final.

With North Melbourne’s finals campaign over, the Kangaroos have begun discussions with some clubs or managers regarding several players, with North making an offer to out-of-contract Western Bulldogs small forward Shaun Higgins, who is a free agent.

North is also waiting for an answer from free agent  Jarrad Waite, who Carlton is still trying to persuade to remain at the club after having made an offer to the versatile forward.

The Roos also joined Melbourne in expressing interest in Collingwood premiership player Heritier Lumumba. He is expected to meet North Melbourne and Melbourne this week after returning from holiday.

West Coast is also believed to have expressed some interest in the defender.

North is understood to appeal to Lumumba because of his association with football boss Geoff Walsh and coach Brad Scott and the fact the Roos are in contention for a premiership.

North also has had interest in out of favour Western Bulldogs forward Liam Jones, who booted five goals in the VFL grand final but who has struggled to cement a regular place in the senior side. Carlton and Port Adelaide are both understood to have expressed interest in the strong contested mark.

Hawthorn and St Kilda are among the clubs waiting on the decision of out-of-contract Giants onballer Jono O’Rourke on whether the former No.2 draft pick will seek a return home to Melbourne.

Carlton and St Kilda are both interested in GWS key defender Kristian Jaksch, who has told the Giants he wishes to return home to Melbourne.

Carlton’s first pick, No.6, is considered too much for the player on his own without an extra player as part of the deal.

Geelong is believed to have asked about Port Adelaide midfielder Ben Newton, who has played just four games after being taken as a second-round pick (No.35) in the 2010 draft.

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