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Stringer, Watts trade talks set to heat up

The Western Bulldogs take on the Sydney Swans in a grand final rematch. (AAP Image/Julian Smith)
15th October, 2017
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The AFL trade period is set to heat up with Jake Stringer, Gary Ablett and Jack Watts set to dominate the second week of talks.

A flurry of activity is expected when negotiations resume on Monday ahead of Thursday’s 2pm AEDT deadline.

Much of the intrigue will centre on whether Essendon can secure a trade for estranged Western Bulldogs forward Stringer.

The 23-year-old was encouraged to find a new home and has picked Essendon as his preferred destination.

But the Bulldogs have threatened to dig their heels in unless the Bombers offer up suitable compensation for the contracted All-Australian.

Essendon have already offloaded their first-round pick in this year’s draft to Greater Western Sydney in exchange for Devon Smith, and they may need to swap picks with a third club to satisfy the Dogs.

Bulldogs football boss Chris Grant on Saturday declared that Stringer was “every chance” of remaining on their list, despite his manager publicly suggesting otherwise.

Geelong have also shown interest in Stringer and could swoop in, having been given tidy compensation for the departure of free agent Steven Motlop to Port Adelaide.

The Cats had been expecting a late second-round draft pick but instead nabbed a pick at the end of the first round – currently pick No.19.

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Geelong’s main priority however will likely be finalising a deal with Gold Coast to bring beloved son Ablett back to Kardinia Park.

The dual Brownlow Medallist has previously declared he will retire if he is unable to play out his career with the Cats.

It is unclear whether talks will proceed as planned following the sudden death of Ablett’s sister Natasha on Thursday night.

Port Adelaide are expected to continue their busy fortnight and secure a deal for Melbourne forward Watts.

The former No.1 draft pick appears resigned to having to move interstate after being placed on the trade table.

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