Brodie Grundy’s link to the Dees has strengthened after three key Melbourne figures met with the Pies ruck.
Plus while Essendon remains in negotiations with its skipper, it’s flagged preliminary interest in a North forward.
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KEY DEES TRIO MEET WITH PIES STAR
Not only is Melbourne interested in Brodie Grundy, the club has met with the star ruckman, according to Sportsday reporter Sam McClure.
the Herald Sun reported on Tuesday night that the Demons, as well as Geelong, had emerged as “potential new suitors” for Grundy, who’s now central to ample trade speculation despite being contracted to the Pies until the end of 2027 on a deal reportedly worth around $1 million per season.
Giants football boss Jason McCartney was seen meeting Grundy’s manager last month, while Port Adelaide has also been linked to the dual All-Australian.
Speaking on 3AW’s sports day on Tuesday night, McClure said the Dees had been proactive and met with Grundy “in recent days”.
“Simon Goodwin was definitely there, Alan Richardson was definitely there and Max Gawn was definitely there,” McClure told 3AW.
“Clearly Melbourne are of the belief that Luke Jackson is going to Fremantle, so they are on the lookout early and are getting in early in the queue for a direct replacement.”
While Jackson appears increasingly likely to request a trade to Fremantle, the Demons are keen to continue with a two-ruck strategy — and pairing Gawn and Grundy would bring together two of the AFL’s premier ruckmen in the past decade.
Collingwood coach Craig McRae declared on Fox Footy’s AFL 360 last month he wanted Grundy at the club next season, but remained tight-lipped on whether he was up for trade.
Grundy, who hasn’t played an AFL game since Anzac Day due to a knee issue, had been nearing a return to the AFL before suffering a stress fracture in his ankle in a VFL match, ruling him out for the rest of the home and away season.
BOMBERS EYE OFF-CONTRACT ROO
Gun Kangaroos goalkicker Cameron Zurhaar has received “preliminary” interest from Essendon, SEN reports.
Zurhaar, who’s been one of the Kangaroos’ most important forward 50 players over the past four seasons, in May put off contract talks, with his manager Anthony McConville telling the Herald Sun the timing was “not right to have fruitful discussions”.
That call to park negotiations, though, came before North parted ways with senior coach David Noble. And Zurhaar has been in excellent form under caretaker coach Leigh Adams, booting 13 goals from his past four games — including four from 18 disposals and seven marks against Essendon in Round 20 — to take his season tally to a career-high 32.
SEN reported the Bombers had “some interest” in Zurhaar, but the Roos also had hope he would re-sign with them after a senior coach is appointed.
The report also suggested the Bombers are looking to acquire a big-bodied midfielder during the AFL exchange period.
Zurhaar, 24, has blossomed at North since being selected as a rookie in 2016.
He’s been among the top two leading goalkickers at the club for the past four straight years, including topping the table in 2020 with 18 majors from 16 games.
HEPPELL GRILLED OVER FRESH SUNS LINK
Essendon skipper Dyson Heppell has been quizzed about his playing future amid reports of a juicy Gold Coast offer.
As Heppell weighs up a one-year offer to stay at Essendon, the Suns have reportedly upped their offer to the veteran defender and are prepared to offer him a two-year deal with the potential of a coaching future at the club post-playing career. .
While no formal deal had been tabled yet, SEN reported on Tuesday the Suns were preparing a four-year offer that would likely entail two seasons as a player then two as an assistant coach.
Speaking to TV reporters on Tuesday, Heppell said his manager and the Bombers were “working through” negotiations, adding he was hopeful “something will be sorted soon.”
Asked if he was torn on his decision, Heppell told reporters: “We’re working through that at the moment. I’m really just honing in on trying to finish off the year well with the Dons and see how we go from there.”
Asked if a longer term deal would be more appealing, Heppell said: “Who knows at the moment? Everything will get sorted ASAP. I’m just trying to lead the club as best as I possibly can.”
As an unrestricted free agent, Heppell could walk to another club without a trade being made.