Hawthorn star Jordan Lewis has held talks with Melbourne about an AFL trade, prompting the Hawks to declare him a required player just days after flagging the shock departure of fellow four-time premiership veteran Sam Mitchell.
It’s understood Lewis’ management approached Melbourne about a trade after a meeting between the 30-year-old and coach Alistair Clarkson about his playing future.
But the “well-advanced” talks are understood to have come to a halt, with Hawthorn thought to be less keen to facilitate a move now that Mitchell is likely to head to West Coast.
Hawthorn list manager Graham Wright on Thursday confirmed there had been interest in Lewis but insisted he would not be traded.
“There was an enquiry about Jordan but he’s a contracted player and a required player,” Wright told the Hawks’ website.
A 264-game veteran, Lewis remains one of the Hawks’ most-important players and finished second behind Mitchell in the club’s best-and-fairest count this year.
Wright said talks between the Hawks and West Coast on a trade for Mitchell had been positive but were still progressing.
Mitchell’s proposed trade to West Coast has shown sentimentality won’t get in the way of the Hawks’ bid to free up salary-cap space.
Mitchell, 34, is open to playing for the Eagles before moving into a coaching role and could be traded for as little as a third-round draft selection, given the Hawks’ need to clear space in their salary cap for star recruit Tom Mitchell, key forward Ty Vickery and trade target Jaeger O’Meara.
Hawthorn took another step on Thursday towards fulfilling that mission, trading speedy winger Bradley Hill to Fremantle where he will play alongside older brother Stephen.
The Hawks gain pick 23 in the draft for the 23-year-old Hill, who had played an important role in their 2013, 2014 and 2015 flag-winning teams.
“Bradley informed the club he had a strong desire to return to Western Australia and play with his brother at Fremantle,” Wright said.
“We have worked closely with his management and Fremantle to facilitate a deal that we feel benefits everyone involved.”
The move of Fremantle unrestricted free agent Chris Mayne to Collingwood on a four-year deal on Wednesday facilitated the Hill trade.
The Dockers used the compensation pick they received from the AFL (No.23) for the loss of Mayne to secure Hill from the Hawks.
In other player movement news on the fourth day of the AFL trade period:
* Brisbane traded their No.2 draft selection and several late picks to Greater Western Sydney in exchange for picks 3 and 16
* Brisbane list manager Peter Schwab said the Lions were yet to find any clubs interested in a potential trade for captain and star midfielder Tom Rockliff
* Out-of-contract Western Bulldogs midfielder Koby Stevens nominated St Kilda as his preferred new home
* Port Adelaide midfielder Brendon Ah Chee confirmed his interest in a move to Gold Coast to play alongside brother Callum