West Coast coach Adam Simpson is hopeful Scott Selwood will re-sign with the Eagles, but rival clubs are ready to swoop should the vice-captain seek a fresh start.
Selwood will be a restricted free agent at the end of the season, and he’s already been linked with a move to Geelong, where his older brother Joel is skipper.
Several other Victorian clubs would also be interested in luring Selwood home, meaning the Eagles face a fight to keep the 25-year-old.
Selwood has struggled to regain peak form and fitness since suffering a serious ankle injury last year, and he’s been used in the sub role three times this season.
West Coast announced the re-signings of Dom Sheed, Jackson Nelson and Tom Barrass on Thursday.
But Selwood’s name was a notable absence, with the Eagles agreeing to give the 2012 best and fairest winner more time to decide on his future.
“We’ll be reasonably patient to what he does with that,” Simpson said.
“At the moment I think he’s focusing on his footy, and trying to get good performances out consistently is the main focus for him.
“I hope (he re-signs). He’s a best and fairest winner; he’s our vice-captain and he’s an important part of our side.”
West Coast will be aiming to notch their seventh straight win when they take on Gold Coast at Metricon Stadium on Saturday night.
Defender Will Schofield is expected to play after scans cleared him of any serious damage to his calf, while the Suns will be without star midfielder Gary Ablett (knee).
West Coast are expected to encounter few problems against Gold Coast.
But their top-two credentials will go on the line next week when they host Hawthorn in Perth.
Simpson said his players couldn’t afford to let their minds wander to the Hawks, who are in the hottest of form after smashing Fremantle, Sydney and Carlton over the past three weeks.
“You’d hope it’s not hard to concentrate on this week – four points is four points and this is a big game for us,” Simpson said.
“We can control our own destiny … to put ourselves in a position where you can have a tilt at the top four or the top two.
“But we don’t want to put a ceiling on it.”
Meanwhile, West Coast strategy coach Don Pyke is being considered for the vacant Carlton coaching job.
“He is a mature man who has been around the traps, so I couldn’t endorse him enough,” Simpson said.