Brisbane have made their first official statement since news broke yesterday of a bombshell trade request by reigning Brownlow medallist Lachie Neale.
Seven’s Ryan Daniels claimed that Neale would request a trade back to Fremantle after three years with Brisbane so his wife could be closer to family as the birth of their first child nears.
Lions brass were reportedly blindsided by the news and met last night, before meeting with Neale today and releasing the following statement.
“The Brisbane Lions have today met with midfielder Lachie Neale.
Lions CEO Greg Swann, GM of Football Danny Daly and Senior Coach Chris Fagan sat down with the Brownlow medallist following reports he was seeking to return to Western Australia.
Neale and his wife Jules are expecting their first child and he has confirmed the couple are weighing up where they would like to raise their family.
He did not request a trade but has asked for some time to have further discussions with his wife and family.
The Lions will not make any further comment at this stage and we request that Lachie and Jules’ privacy be respected.”
Despite the club’s claim that Neale did not request a trade, the acknowledgement that he is having discussions with wife and family as they weigh up where to raise their child is a fair indication that a move could be on the cards.
Neale joined Brisbane at the end of 2018 with a year remaining on his contract, with the Lions handing the Dockers picks six, 19 and 55 in exchange for the midfielder and pick 30.
He signed a five year-deal with the club that expires at the conclusion of the 2023 season.