Carlton forward Lachie Henderson has announced his intention to walk from the AFL club at season’s end and the Blues aren’t interested in stopping him.
The 25-year-old is out of contract in 2016 and told his teammates on Thursday morning he would be requesting a trade away from Visy Park.
The Blues say Henderson, who was in the club’s leadership group, is seeking a fresh start away from Carlton.
In response, caretaker coach John Barker has stood Henderson down for the rest of the season to protect his value on the trade table.
“We just want players who are going to have a fierce determination and assume the responsibility that comes with putting the Carlton football club jumper on,” Barker said.
“We need to provide Carlton with the best possible outcome and we feel we’ll do that by keeping him uninjured for the next three weeks.
“The decision from our end was pretty easy.”
Henderson, who moved from Brisbane before the 2010 season, is not a free agent and will rely on Carlton trading him to a club of choice.
Having grown up near Geelong, the Cats are likely suitors and have reportedly confirmed their interest.
Barker said Henderson’s move was not a surprise, and may have come to a head this week because of the caretaker coach’s decision to drop him for Sunday’s match with Melbourne.
“He’s been grappling with some sort of decision for some time now,” he said.
“His performances have gradually dropped to the point on the weekend where he’s output wasn’t great.
“He wasn’t going to be playing senior football for us this weekend.”
Henderson finishes with 102 games and 101 goals for the Blues.
Blues football head Andrew McKay said the club would be driving a hard bargain during trade week.
“Our list management team now has a duty to our Carlton members to get the best possible deal in return for Lachie through the AFL trade period,” he said.
Barker said the club’s decision to stand down a wantaway player and move him on would be appreciated by members.
“We’ve been really honest at Carlton over the last 12 months or so,” he said.
“It’s been refreshing for our members to understand exactly where we’re at, to know where we’re going.
“This is just another great example of that fact.”
Carlton have lost seven straight games and slumped to last place on the ladder with a 64-point loss to previously bottom-placed Brisbane on Saturday.