Harley Bennell will most likely return home to WA and join Fremantle after Richmond decided against recruiting the wayward AFL midfielder.
Bennell visited the Tigers in grand final week and had dinner with Dustin Martin, fuelling speculation they would recruit him in the upcoming trade period.
“Following discussions last week, Richmond has decided at this point it is not in a position to offer Harley Bennell a playing contract,” the Tigers said in a statement.
Other than Richmond, Fremantle has been the club linked most closely to Bennell since he left Gold Coast.
There is no denying Bennell’s playing talent, but a succession of off-field controversies meant Gold Coast let him go at the end of this season.
He was on his last chance with the Suns after a drugs scandal that broke in July.
Front-page newspaper photos showed Bennell with drugs at a Launceston hotel in March, 2013.
Bennell apologised and made a successful return, playing six games at the end of the season.
But the Suns decided to trade him after police charged him following an incident early last month outside a Gold Coast nightclub.
The matter was settled out of court, with Bennell reportedly paying a fine.