Ex-Cat Johnson could land with Lions

Geelong premiership star Steve Johnson could extend his AFL career next season at Brisbane.

Johnson, 32, had indicated he would be willing to move interstate for the right offer after the Cats decided not to give him a new deal at the end of this campaign.

The Lions had the second-worst attack in the AFL this season and list manager Peter Schwab revealed coach Justin Leppitsch was a fan of the mercurial goal kicker.

“I think you always look at a player of that class and quality, and think maybe he does offer a little bit for a very young group,” Schwab told the AFL’s website on Wednesday.

“We haven’t ruled out that possibility but we haven’t gone that far with our thinking in that regard.

“I think the coach has shown some interest and might’ve had a chat.”

Johnson played 253 games for Geelong and was part of their premiership sides in 2007, 2008 and 2011.

Brisbane shape as a key player in the coming trade and free agency periods, with Schwab flagging his club’s interest in luring midfielder Tom Bell from Carlton and defender David Astbury from Richmond.

Matthew Leuenberger, who is a restricted free agent, is considering a fresh start at another club, with Stef Martin claiming the No.1 ruck role this season.

Jack Redden has expressed a desire to move to West Coast, but Schwab says the Eagles will need to satisfy their trade demands for the contracted midfielder to depart, with a draft pick preferred over a player.

Talented youngster James Aish has been the subject of trade speculation all season and the Lions are still unsure if the former top-10 draft pick will sign a new deal.

“I’m not being evasive but I simply don’t know at the moment,” Schwab said, adding he would speak this week to Aish’s manager.

“He hasn’t indicated one way or the other but he’ll have to do that soon, of course, because trading starts next Monday.

“We want him to be 100 per cent sure with whichever decision he makes.

“We’re hopeful that he wants to stay and, the longer it’s taken, the more confident we’ve been that that might be the case.”

Schwab said the club had cooled on its interest in signing Hawthorn unrestricted free agent Matt Suckling.

“We were interested in Matty but, for circumstances around list management, we’ve had to curtail that,” he said. “So we won’t pursue that.”

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