Embarrassing backflip in AFL trade drama
PORT Adelaide star Chad Wingard has reportedly backed down on his trade request and now wants to remain at the Power.
The Port star had been linked with a high-profile move to a Victorian club with St Kilda, Hawthorn and the Western Bulldogs reportedly leading the list of teams interested in trading for the 25-year-old.
However, he's been left red-faced by reports he now wants to stay at Port Adelaide after failing to attract a blockbuster offer from potential suitors.
Reports during the AFL finals series indicated Wingard was "almost certain" to make a move to a Victorian team.
Wingard is reported to have told clubs he expects a monster deal worth more than $4 million (in a four-year deal) to encourage him to leave the Power.
It now appears he has failed to attract that sort of interest from clubs and will instead choose to fulfil the final year of his contract at Port Adelaide where he will be eligible for free agency heading into the 2019 trade period.
The Herald Sun reported on Monday, Wingard has now been forced to back down on his trade request.
Chief football writer Mark Robinson reports Wingard informed the Power of his intent to stay at the club at the end of last week.
The report suggests Wingard failed to attract any offers that matched his desired $1 million-per-season wage demands.
However, the report was followed by denials from Wingard's camp with manager Tom Petroro declaring Wingard is yet to make a decision on his future.
Port Adelaide would could receive a better deal by trading out Wingard this year rather than waiting for the compensation pick they would receive next year.
Port coach Ken Hinkley has previously said the club would only consider trading Wingard for two first round draft picks.
"Chad is an enormous talent, he is not the type of player that you let out of your football club very easily," Hinkley told SEN on Thursday.
"And if I go through what I have dealt with in the past with (Port recruits) Paddy Ryder and Charlie Dixon, and we've given up first-round picks and a second-round pick and they're the sort of numbers - two first-round picks."
EAGLES' UNCOMFORTABLE STANCE ON STAR TRIO
THE prospect of back-to-back AFL flags is already on the minds of some West Coast players, but will Andrew Gaff, Scott Lycett, and Mark LeCras be part of the premiership charge?
More than 40,000 Eagles fans welcomed back their premiership heroes at Perth's Langley Park on Sunday.
Players were nursing sore heads and croaky voices, with the partying set to continue this week.
But behind the scenes West Coast's hierarchy are already facing a defining period to ensure the club's 2019 flag hopes don't get off to a rocky start. The Eagles face a major fight to retain free agents Gaff and Lycett. Gaff has been offered a 'godfather' deal by North Melbourne, while Lycett is rumoured to be on the verge of joining Port Adelaide on a lucrative deal. Veteran LeCras, who at 32 years of age is the oldest player in the team, is yet to make a call on whether he will continue.
All three players loom as crucial cogs in West Coast's 2019 flag tilt - especially Lycett and Gaff.
With Nic Naitanui (knee) no guarantee to return in 2019, Lycett's defection would leave a major hole in West Coast's ruck stocks.
The Eagles have already met with GWS big man Rory Lobb as a possible replacement, while St Kilda's Tom Hickey and Western Bulldogs free agent Jordan Roughead are other options West Coast have looked into.
Gaff paid the ultimate price for his punch on Andrew Brayshaw in the round 20 western derby, with his eight-week suspension ruling him out of the grand final. The 26-year-old Victorian could make an announcement about his future as early as this week.
LeCras is expected to undergo surgery on the arm he injured earlier this season. If the prognosis is good, the 219-game veteran is expected to play on next season.
SWANS STAR ONLY CONSIDERING GEELONG
SWANS speedster Gary Rohan will reportedly only leave Sydney if he can sort a trade with Geelong.
Rohan is one of several high-profile Swans players moving on after their 2018 campaign, joining Dan Hannebery with reported requests for trades back to Victoria.
Hannebery has already confirmed he wants to be traded to the Saints, while Rohan's manager
Nick Gieschen told AFL Trade Radio on Monday Rohan will only consider moving to the Cats.
"If Gary leaves Sydney it will be to Geelong. He's got family down there and that's where he's from so it'll only be to Geelong," Gieschen said.
"Sydney's aware of Gary's desire to get home and they're keen to facilitate something with Geelong too so both parties are in discussion at the moment.
"I'm pretty confident a deal will get done."