Essendon expect to lose Jake Melksham to AFL rivals Melbourne after a teary farewell chat with the midfielder.
Bombers list manager Adrian Dodoro said the 24-year-old received a deal “too good to refuse” from the Demons, who targetted the out-of-contract Don through a personal connection.
Demons assistant Simon Goodwin, who will become senior coach in 2017 after Paul Roos’ planned departure, and Melksham worked together at Essendon.
Dodoro said he understood why Melksham would leave the Bombers given his AFL home of the last six years could not match their offer.
“He rang me last week and he was virtually in tears when he told me he was leaving,” he told the AFL website’s Road to the Draft podcast.
“He was leaving basically because I think the offer was good, and he’s a young man who’s about to have a family and the offer was too good to refuse, plus his relationship with Simon was pretty strong. That’s his call.”
Melksham has played 114 games in six seasons with Essendon, with the two clubs set to meet to discuss a trade.
Dodoro also confirmed interest in Brisbane restricted free agent Matthew Leuenberger, and revealed wantaway big man Jake Carlisle has met with St Kilda, Carlton and will soon chat to the Western Bulldogs as he looks to confirm his destination of choice.