Gary Ablett has announced he wishes to leave Gold Coast and return home to Geelong in 2018, but looking at the Cats’ list, can they get this done?
Their highest pick in the upcoming draft is number 20, but the side does have a few uncontracted players they could offer up to secure the deal.
Steve Motlop remains out of contract and could be pushed out the door via free agency, which would see Geelong compensated with a pick.
If Geelong is granted a first round selection for Motlop, they would receive pick 16.
Gold Coast could request a player and if so, the likes of Daniel Menzel (FA), Darcy Lang, Lincoln McCarthy, Rhys Stanley, Zach Guthrie and Cory Gregson remain out of contract.
Menzel’s manager Adam Ramanauskas even suggested the possible return of Ablett could be delaying his client’s new contract.
Clubs have shown interest in Lang who was recalled into the Geelong side during the finals series and the 21-year-old could be seeking greater opportunity elsewhere.
Carlton has been linked to Lang, but he could potentially be involved in the Ablett trade.
McCarthy is an interesting case as he’s contracted until 2017, but may have a game-based clause that could see him granted one more year at the Cats.
The small forward only played three games this season, however.
The Cats will need to make room for Ablett, but they have a lot key players already locked away on long-term deals.
Patrick Dangerfield (signed until 2021), Mitch Duncan (2020), Tom Hawkins (2020), Zach Tuohy (2020), Joel Selwood (2019) and Zac Smith (2019) will be commanding a fair chunk of the side’s salary cap.
Geelong already has two changes to its list with premiership defenders Tom Lonergan and Andrew Mackie retiring.