Brad Hill is on St Kilda’s radar. Picture: Getty Images
Brad Hill is on St Kilda’s radar. Picture: Getty Images

Inside dramatic Saints, Dockers negotiations

ST Kilda has dramatically called Fremantle's bluff on Brad Hill after the Dockers knocked back an offer of pick six and next year's second-round selection.

St Kilda faces one of the great juggling acts of the trade period, having traded away that No. 6 pick to GWS for selections 12 and 18.

They had offered pick six and that 2020 selection, and had also offered up talented utility Blake Acres as part of the trade if the Dockers were interested.

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But it is believed Fremantle football boss Peter Bell instead demanded a haul of pick six, next year's first-round pick and a future third-round pick.

The Saints refused to hand over the trio of choices and instead made the bold move to pass off six to GWS for two later-round selections.

The shrewd call gives the Saints more options to land the full haul of recruits that it wants to move to Moorabbin as part of a dramatic list transformation.

In all, St Kilda has to find picks for Dougal Howard, Hill, Sydney's Zak Jones and has interest in Richmond's Dan Butler and Port Adelaide's Paddy Ryder.

Brad Hill is on St Kilda’s radar. Picture: Wayne Ludbey
Brad Hill is on St Kilda’s radar. Picture: Wayne Ludbey

It means St Kilda will have to find a way to placate the Dockers to land wingman Hill.

Preferably, St Kilda will part with pick 12 only for the 26-year-old Hill, safeguarding its future first rounder from next year's draft for Gold Coast's Ben King.

Club sources said West Coast's decision to hand over two first-round picks and two second-round picks to Geelong for Tim Kelly had skewed the market for other deals.

Clubs such as Fremantle now want full returns for their departing stars proportionate to Kelly's deal.

Sydney wants a pick in the mid-20s for Jones given his exceptional skill-set.

But St Kilda has so far been offered only pick 32 for departing forward Josh Bruce from the Western Bulldogs.

It comes as Port Adelaide have demanded a first-round pick from St Kilda for 199cm swingman Dougal Howard as the Saints try to work on deals involving as many as seven players.

St Kilda is understood to have offered Howard a five-season deal on a salary of between $500,000-$600,000, with the 23-year-old having nominated the Saints on Wednesday.

Dougal Howard is keen to get to St Kilda. Picture: Sarah Reed
Dougal Howard is keen to get to St Kilda. Picture: Sarah Reed

The Ryder deal will go through for a late selection that will not affect St Kilda's suite of draft picks.

Butler's acquisition would also only be for a later selection.

But not only is Fremantle playing hard ball demanding two first-round picks, the Power won't let Howard go for a song.

The Saints currently have picks 12, 18 and 59 and still have to land Sydney's Jones.

The Saints might still be able to split pick 18 in some way, finding a way to use 18 and the Dogs' 32 to placate both the Power (for Howard) and Sydney (for Jones).

GWS cashed in with a pick swap that sees them secure the Saints' pick 6 and 59 in return for their own 12 and 18.

It will likely allow them to get ahead of rival bids for hard inside academy midfielder Tom Green, considered a ready-made player for 2020.

News Corp Australia


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