Bombers keen to add lost Bulldog Stringer

Essendon have declared their intent to land Western Bulldogs fallen star Jake Stringer at this year’s AFL trade period.

Stringer, a premiership player last year and an All-Australian in 2015, has been put up for trade by the Dogs after he battled form, fitness and off-field issues this season.

Bombers list manager Adrian Dodoro has already met with Stringer over coffee to sound him out about a move.

“We have a really strong desire to see the process through to see where Jake wants to get to with his football,” Dodoro said on Tuesday.

“Obviously he’s a quality player and we’ve made no secret of the fact that we’re in the market to bring an A-grade player into our footy club.

“He’s a player that we’d be extremely interested in talking further to.

“If he did choose us I’m sure we could sit down and do a fair trade.”

Dodoro would not be drawn on what he thinks it would cost the Bombers to trade for Stringer, the No.5 pick at the 2012 draft.

Geelong and Richmond are also reported to be interested in trading for the 23-year-old.

Stringer’s manager Paul Connors told reporters at the launch of AFL Trade Radio on Tuesday that his client would nominate a destination club in the coming weeks.

Dodoro is confident the various issues that hampered Stringer this season can be overcome.

Essendon’s No.11 pick at the national draft could come into play in a move for Stringer but Dodoro ruled out rarely-sighted first-round draft pick Aaron Francis as a part of any deal in October’s trade period.

“He’s a player that gets asked about regularly but he’s a contracted player for the next two years and we have extremely high regard for him,” Dodoro said of Francis, who has managed just five AFL games since he was drafted sixth overall two years ago.

“He’s a young man who, when we drafted him, we knew there would be some limitations initially because of some injury issues that he had.

“But we’ve got him to a point now where his fitness is really good.

“I’m expecting a really big year from him next year … I’m pretty sure he’ll be at the Bombers.”

Dodoro is intent on adding midfield depth during the trade period but ruled out a move for Brisbane’s Tom Rockliff due to his age.

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