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Dees ‘open’ to AFL trade bombshell… and it could shake up race for No.1 pick: Whispers

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Clayton Oliver’s name has surfaced as the potential bombshell mover of the 2023 AFL trade period but the Melbourne Demons won’t be parting ways with the 26-year-old unless they get the right deal in return.

Plus West Coast’s plans explained ahead of a crucial off-season.

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DEMONS ‘OPEN’ TO TRADING OLIVER, WHO IS IN SIGHTS OF RIVALS

Melbourne gun Clayton Oliver’s name has surfaced among AFL rivals as a genuine trade target this off-season.

And now SEN’s Tom Morris has reported that Melbourne is “open” to trading Oliver, although the Demons are said to want the right price in exchange for the star midfielder.

The report also stressed that the Demons are not shopping Oliver yet but just “making it clear” to rival teams that they are open to the possibility.

Oliver had a difficult 2023 campaign, battling injuries which cost him half the season, but is locked into a seven-year contract extension worth around $7 million which he signed in June 2022, committing him to the Demons until 2030.

Could Clayton Oliver be on the move? (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

According to Morris, a potential Oliver trade would help the Demons in a bid to stockpile a “suite of draft picks” as they look to possibly move up the draft to the first overall spot.

“Rival clubs believe Melbourne is trying to acquire a suite of draft picks – which would be aided by Oliver’s departure – to satisfy West Coast for Pick 1 at best, and Gold Coast for Pick 4 at worst,” Morris reported.

“They’ve long been keen on likely No.1 pick Harley Reid.”

The report also added that any deal would also hinge on Oliver agreeing to be traded in the first place.

As for what could be behind the decision to even consider trading the four-time winner of the club’s best and fairest award, the report from SEN indicated Oliver had been “frustrated” at Melbourne’s medical and high-performance staff during his layoff with a hamstring injury.

According to the report, Oliver told friends that the club should have handled it better.

The report though also claimed senior teammates “have become increasingly more frustrated and concerned in equal measure with his welfare” in the wake of the three-month injury layoff.

“To the point where Oliver moving away from his Camberwell house and in with captain Max Gawn has been seriously canvassed as a temporary option,” wrote Morris.

“There is no suggestion of any wrongdoing, only that Gawn would support Oliver through a difficult period.”

Braden Ingram of 9 News Melbourne, meanwhile, reported on Tuesday that Oliver’s attitude has “raised eyebrows at time, with his absence from recent post-season celebrations noted internally”.

Oliver though is set to attend the team’s best and fairest ceremony.

Clayton Oliver of the Demons. Photo by Michael Klein.Source: News Corp Australia

It comes after AFL Media’s Riley Beveridge and Cal Twomey reported on Trade Radio that clubs were “weighing up” whether to make a move for the 2021 premiership player.

While all AFL clubs keep an eye on top talents to see whether they’re gettable the report suggested rivals now feel it’s at least viable to make a play for Oliver.

“One to watch over the next couple of weeks – clubs are weighing up now whether to make a move for Melbourne superstar Clayton Oliver in this year’s trade period,” Beveridge said.

“Oliver obviously has a massive seven year contract that he signed in the middle of last year that now takes him through to the end of 2030.

“But he had a very challenging year, he only played 15 games, miss 10 weeks through the middle of the campaign with a hamstring injury but also that blister on his foot which became infected.”

Twomey added: “But rival clubs are considering the cost of a trade attempt for Oliver, four-time best and fairest winner with the Demons.

“It is unclear if he would be open to any move, and there’s been absolutely no indication the Melbourne would be willing to part with him either – but this is from point of view of the rival clubs.

“Getting the things in order to see if a play for him is something that they want to proceed with. So that’s going to be one to watch over the next couple of weeks.”

Oliver’s Demons have copped two consecutive straight sets finals exits since the 2021 premiership win.

In past trade periods he has been linked to Carlton.

Could Clayton Oliver be the bombshell mover of the trade period? (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

EAGLES CONFIRM TRIO OF TARGETS, SPEAK ON PICK 1 PLANS

West Coast list boss Rohan O’Brien has confirmed the club is chasing three players while weighing up its options on whether to trade Pick 1 this off-season.

The Eagles’ horror year saw them earn the wooden spoon and thus rights to the top pick in the draft, with Victorian Harley Reid regarded as the top of the class, and indeed one of the best draft prospects in some time.

While reports he would not like to play away from his home state were denied it’s still believed Reid would prefer to stay closer to home if at all possible.

But more pressingly for West Coast, they’re in desperate need of bulk talent rather than just one gun prospect, meaning trading down the order and getting multiple first-round picks is an obvious option.

O’Brien made sure to give the Eagles as much leverage as possible by publicly proclaiming they are “likely to keep the pick and go to the draft” on Trade Radio on Tuesday.

However he added: “In terms of first round draft picks you’re never going to go wrong acquiring as many as you can.”

O’Brien also confirmed the club was chasing GWS ruckman Matt Flynn, Brisbane midfielder Deven Robertson and Hawthorn forward Tyler Brockman.

“I think discussions are going pretty well there (with Flynn), we have been talking to Matt’s management for a while and we think we can offer a great opportunity for him,” he said.

“We would like to bring Dev to the footy club. Now that the season is finished, we will revisit our pursuit of him.

“We are hopeful at this stage, but we will have more detailed discussions in the coming days.

“We are trying to rejuvenate the list and Tyler with his age can add something to our group. His request for a trade was based around family, when the request came we were happy he chose us.”

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