Do the Kangaroos have an Aish up their sleeve?

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 23: Ryan Bastinac of the Kangaroos controls the ball during the round 21 AFL match between the North Melbourne Kangaroos and the Fremantle Dockers at Etihad Stadium on August 23, 2015 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 23: Ryan Bastinac of the Kangaroos controls the ball during the round 21 AFL match between the North Melbourne Kangaroos and the Fremantle Dockers at Etihad Stadium on August 23, 2015 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images) Robert Cianflone

He spent the day with Collingwood, but North Melbourne yesterday made clear its interest in Brisbane Lions wantaway James Aish.

It came as Carlton's Tom Bell, Richmond's David Astbury, Geelong's Josh Walker and, most significantly, North's Ryan Bastinac were all at the Gabba undergoing medical tests for the Lions.

Fresh from securing Jed Anderson from Hawthorn for his club for pick 15, Kangaroos list manager Cameron Joyce told Trade Radio Aish was also in their sights.

"We really liked James in his draft year (2013) and the interest has grown with the potential that Ryan (Bastinac) might move to Brisbane," he said. "He is in Brisbane today having a look at their facilities.

"He was probably a little bit frustrated with a lack of opportunity. We're comfortable with him exploring that (other options)."

Picked up at No.21 in the 2009 national draft, onballer Bastinac has played 121 games with the Roos, but fell out of favour during their finals campaign.

"We haven't spoken a great deal with the Lions about Bastinac's worth at this stage," Joyce said. "Once the conversations with Bastinac happen with Brisbane, we'll know more info about how that can play out."

While North will look to entice Aish to Arden St, the club may dangle Bastinac and a draft pick in front of the Lions. Aish's manager Liam Pickering, however, said his client was still determined to become a Magpie after meeting officials.
"Collingwood is the preference, that's the destination at the moment," he said.

Brisbane has threatened to send the out-of-contract Aish to the pre-season draft where he would most likely get picked up by wooden-spooner Carlton. The Lions though will need to do a deal with someone as they face a tricky second week of the trade period.

Half-forward Bell, 24, key defender Astbury, 23, and tall forward Walker, 22, would all be welcome additions, and will need to be ushered in through trades.

But, the Lions will also need to hang on to as many early draft picks as possible in order to safely secure highly rated academy products Ben Keays and Eric Hipwood, as well as Josh Schache, who looks certain to be taken at pick No.2.

The Lions currently also hold numbers 17, 21, 39, 42, and 60 and may also be interested in Hawk Brendan Whitecross, though could sign him as a free agent.

In other trade moves, giant Geelong ruckman Dawson Simpson has become a GWS Giant, and Giants Curtly Hampton and Jacob Townsend have joined Adelaide and Richmond, respectively.

Sydney ruckman Canadian Mike Pyke, meanwhile, has retired to concentrate on his business career.
 



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