In-demand Carlton forward Lachie Henderson says he wants to stay with the Blues but has again refused to put a timeframe on signing a new deal with the struggling club.
Henderson, who is out of contract at the end of the season, has been linked to a move to Geelong after he put talks on a new deal on hold until later in the year.
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, the 25-year-old refused to put a timeline on when negotiations with the club would intensify.
“As I’ve said the whole time, I need to play some good footy (first),” Henderson said.
“There’s a lot going on around the club at the moment. Let’s let that sort itself out and we’ll go from there.
“I’ve played ‘some’ footy but that’s the key word there. I said that I wanted to play some good consistent footy and I’ve played one or two games back from a hammy.
“So there’s no timeline on it … there’s a lot going on around the club, there’s a lot going on with me to try and get my footy back to where it needs to be. We’ll cross that bridge when it comes.”
Henderson admitted he is keen to see who the club installs as a permanent replacement for sacked senior coach Mick Malthouse before committing to a new deal.
The Blues’ need to rebuild their playing list through the draft has fuelled speculation they would be willing to listen to trade offers for a host of players.
Henderson said he wanted to be part of that rebuilding process and denied his reluctance to sign a new deal signalled his intention to listen to offers from rivals clubs.
“Perception can be seen both ways,” he said.
“I’m more than happy that you can say that the perception can be that I’m leaving because I’m waiting but it’s not always true.”
The Blues play Port Adelaide at the MCG on Saturday after enjoying a break over their bye round which Henderson said was mentally and physically refreshing after a disappointing first half of the season.
Carlton were highly competitive against Adelaide in their last match, which also signalled the end of Chris Judd’s illustrious career, with Henderson hopeful the Blues can build on that performance despite the loss of the star veteran.
“What Juddy’s left behind and what he’s taught so many of our young boys is immeasurable really,” he said.
“But it gives young players the opportunity to stand up and show what they’re really made of.”
Henderson spoke to reporters from the Melbourne Royal Children’s Hospital where he presented a donation as part of the club’s partnership with the Steven Walter Children’s Cancer Foundation.
The Blues will also donate $1000 for every goal that they kick against the Power.