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Adelaide superstar Rory Sloane has today rejected overtures from a host of Victorian clubs, reportedly signing a new five-year deal with the Crows that will keep him at the club until 2023 and almost certainly see him retire at West Lakes.
The Crows have called a press conference for later this morning where it is expected the news will be made official.
Sloane, a Melbourne native who played for Eastern Ranges in the TAC Cup, had long been rumoured to be considering a move home at the end of this season and was looming as one of the biggest free agents available in 2018.
Collingwood had been listed as a frontrunner for his services, while the shock retirement of Cyril Rioli was also reported to give Hawthorn the salary cap space to chase both him and coveted Gold Coast forward Tom Lynch.
But those rumours were all put to bed this morning, with the 28-year-old putting pen to paper on a likely lifetime deal with the club that took him at pick 44 in the 2008 draft.
3AW quoted Sloane as saying he was “super excited” about the future, having taken some time to weigh up options with his partner Belinda.
“This is a great footy club, and I have said many times before how much I respect and love the place and people,” he added.
The news is a rare win for Adelaide fans in what has been a terribly disappointing season. The side’s supporters have been tormented recently by several high-profile players leaving the club, citing homesickness.
In addition to Patrick Dangerfield’s much-publicised move to Geelong a couple of seasons ago, the Crows have seen Jack Gunston (Hawthorn), and Kurt Tippett (Sydney) leave the club in recent years, while Jake Lever (Melbourne) and Charlie Cameron (Brisbane) departed after their grand final loss to Richmond last year.
Sloane’s new deal means restricted free agents Lynch and West Coast defender Jeremy McGovern are the two highest-profile players left remaining on the market. Lynch is almost certain to leave the Gold Coast at the end of the year, while McGovern has put off contract talks with the Eagles until the end of the season.