Richmond say they were treated with disrespect by Harley Bennell when the controversial midfielder was being courted by the Tigers in the lead-up to the AFL trade period.
After being cut loose by Gold Coast following one too many off-field indiscretions, Fremantle quickly became favourites to secure his services, with a deal finalised on Wednesday.
Bennell had previously met with senior Richmond officials and players before the Tigers made a decision not to pursue a trade for the 23-year-old, who was understood to have turned up late for a medical check.
“We flew him over from Perth to find out a little bit more about him and where he’s at,” Richmond general manager of football Dan Richardson told Trade Radio on Thursday.
“We don’t think he gave that process a great deal of respect and nor did his management so that’s why we moved on.
“He’s now a Fremantle player and maybe that was the way it was going all along, which is the reason why it transpired with us the way it did.
“It just wasn’t meant to be with us.”
Richmond’s main target in the trade period remains disgruntled Carlton speedster Chris Yarran, with Richardson very confident the two clubs would get the deal done.
The Tigers do not want to give up their first-round No.12 draft selection – meaning they would likely have to trade for a lower pick to onpass to the Blues.
“We respect Carlton’s position and they feel Chris is worth a first-round pick which is probably fair, but not as low as we hold currently,” said Richardson.
“We’ve been working hard to satisfy that through some other avenues.”
Second-year forward Ben Lennon has not still not signed a new deal, but Richardson expected that to happen in the next few days.
If Lennon continued to hold out, he could potentially nominate for the pre-season draft where he would likely be snapped up by the Blues.
Lennon was very disappointed to have been dropped for the elimination final against North Melbourne.
“But Ben’s really happy at Richmond, we want him to stay and I’m really confident he will stay,” said Richardson.