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The GWS Giants have announced on Twitter that they have withdrawn their multi-million dollar offer to restricted free agent Lance ‘Buddy’ Franklin.
“The GIANTS have withdrawn their offer to Buddy Franklin based on advice that he will accept an offer from the Swans,” tweeted the official GWS Giants Twitter account.
This supposedly brings an end to months of speculation about Franklin accepting $2 million per year to join the AFL’s newest franchise as their marquee player.
The news comes just three days after Franklin won his second premiership with Hawthorn.
At Hawthorn’s family day on Sunday at Glenferrie Oval, Franklin was believed to be farewelling Hawthorn fans and thanking them for their support throughout the years.
This news has shocked the AFL world 12 months after Sydney orchestrated a similar move to lure former Adelaide forward Kurt Tippett who was also speculated to join the GWS Giants before a change of heart saw him request a move to Sydney.
Salary cap issues will be a key focal point in Franklin penning his signature with money influencing his career path decision.
The 26-year-old has been made an offer from Hawthorn but similar salary cap constraints are restricting the Hawks from matching offers from rival clubs.
The Swans receive a 9.8 percent increase in their salary cap which is the club’s ‘cost of living allowance’ to account for the higher cost of living in Sydney compared to other Australian cities.
For Franklin to squeeze into the Sydney salary cap, Shane Mumford, Jesse White and Sam Reid are all expected to depart.
Franklin is a two-time Coleman medallist, two-time Premiership player, four-time All-Australian and has led Hawthorn’s goalkicking for five seasons.
He has played 182 games in the brown and gold, kicking 580 goals.
Hawthorn has been reported to be offering Franklin $1.1m per season but it is believed Sydney has offered a five-year deal worth $1.4m per season.
The GIANTS have withdrawn their offer to Buddy Franklin based on advice that he will accept an offer from the Swans.
— GWS Giants (@GWS_Giants) October 1, 2013