Hawthorn have inched closer to signing Gold Coast gun Jaeger O’Meara but star midfielder Jordan Lewis could be set to follow Sam Mitchell out the door.
The Hawks on Friday secured the No.10 pick in this year’s AFL draft from St Kilda in exchange for picks 23, 36 and a future first-round selection.
Gold Coast are adamant any deal for O’Meara will need to include both a first-round draft pick and a player, although it’s not clear which Hawks they have enquired about in their ongoing negotiations.
The deal might provide some consolation to Hawks fans after Mitchell’s bombshell trade to West Coast was made official, the gun onballer joining the Eagles following 15 years and four premierships with the Hawks.
Hawthorn will effectively receive pick No.88 in exchange for the 34-year-old – a staggering win for the Eagles, who also agreed to swap late draft picks, considering Mitchell is coming off a season in which he topped the Hawks’ best-and-fairest count for the fifth time.
Mitchell’s manager has said the three-time All-Australian was “blindsided” by coach Alistair Clarkson suggesting a trade to West Coast, a discussion believed to have been driven by Hawthorn’s need to clear space in their salary cap.
Talk quickly turned to the future of fellow veteran Lewis when it emerged he had sounded out interest from Melbourne following a similar discussion with Clarkson about his future.
Hawthorn list manager Graham Wright on Friday confirmed the two clubs had spoken about Lewis but insisted the 30-year-old would be staying put “at this stage”.
“He had an open and honest conversation with Clarko a couple of weeks ago about what his future would look like,” Wright told reporters.
“As of yesterday afternoon, we decided we really didn’t want Jordan to go anywhere.
“From his point of view, it’s about exploring what might be out there for the future but he’s a contracted and required player.”
The Demons, after meeting Lewis’ management on Friday, are understood to remain hopeful of getting a deal done.
A 264-game veteran, Lewis remains one of the Hawks’ most-important players, finishing second behind Mitchell this year in the club’s best-and-fairest count.
Mitchell, racking up 307 games for the Hawks, will take a coaching role at West Coast at the end of his playing career and insists there are no hard feelings between him and Clarkson.
“I know that everyone thinks Clarko’s a big mean wolf but I think he was actually looking out for me and seeing if he could help me out with my transition,” Mitchell told AFL trade radio.
In other player movement news on the fifth day of the trade period:
* St Kilda secured young midfielder Jack Steele from Greater Western Sydney in exchange for a future second-round pick
* Gold Coast said they were confident of landing Brisbane’s Pearce Hanley, while a deal to send Dion Prestia to Richmond was edging closer and would include the Tigers’ No.6 draft pick
* The Western Bulldogs signed veteran defender Matthew Boyd on a new one-year deal, while insisting rookie Marcus Adams would not be granted a move home to WA
* GWS confirmed they were in talks to send Caleb Marchbank and Jarrod Pickett to Carlton
* Carlton’s leading goalkicker in 2016, Matthew Wright, signed a new one-year deal