Trade twist after Dees reject Freo Hogan offer
MELBOURNE has rejected Fremantle's first official offer for spearhead Jesse Hogan and are preparing to keep him at the club next season.
The Dockers offered pick No.11 and a future second-rounder for the 195cm hulking forward.
But the Demons turned down the proposal, believing it was not even close to matching Hogan's value as one of the AFL's best key forwards.
Melbourne insist any deal for Hogan, 23, will have to include pick No.5, which Fremantle can secure from Brisbane in return for midfielder Lachie Neale.
The Herald Sun understands the Dockers could seal the deal for Hogan if they offer Melbourne pick No.5 and No.23 and potentially a swap of future picks.
But the Dockers are playing hard ball with the Lions over Neale and are saying Brisbane must stump up pick No.5 and another late first-round selection for him.
The continuing stand-off means Hogan could be lost to the Dockers despite pressure on the club to fill their key forward void and rise up the ladder next season.
Melbourne will keep Hogan at the club if required next season, and then look to engage West Coast in trade negotiations in one year's time.
West Coast cannot fit Hogan into this year's salary cap as the Eagles are preoccupied with a bid to secure midfielder Tim Kelly from Geelong.
But the Eagles will be in a much stronger position to make a move on Hogan at the end of next season as a replacement for veteran forward Josh Kennedy.
Fremantle's offer of pick No.11 and a second-rounder next year proves the Dockers are still keen on Hogan despite reports they have cooled on him.
The Herald Sun confirmed on Thursday Hogan's recovery from a stress fracture in his navicular bone in his foot remains on track.
He is expected to be available for Round 1 next season.
Melbourne wants to claim Gold Coast co-captain and star defender Steven May with the pick No.5 it would receive from Fremantle for Hogan.
May could fill a missing link in the Demons' back line but the club will likely struggle to do a deal with the Suns if Hogan stays.
Fremantle completed a crucial pick swap on Thursday which put it in a strong position to claim Hogan and versatile GWS Giants' ruckman Rory Lobb.
The Dockers traded pick No.6 and a future third-round pick to Port Adelaide in return for picks No.11, No.23, No.30 and No.49.
It sets Fremantle up to give pick No.5 (from Brisbane in return for Neale) and pick No.23 to Melbourne for Hogan.
The Dockers can then also off-load pick No.11 to Greater Western Sydney as part of a deal for ace big man Lobb.
The deal is also beneficial for Port Adelaide because it moves the Power up the order to pick No.6 where it will be in range to land one of three highly-talented South Australian draft prospects Jack Lukosius, Izak Rankine and Connor Rozee.
The Power also have pick No.10 and are eyeing pick No.15 at least from Hawthorn for Chad Wingard.
Port can look to swap picks No.6, No.10 and potentially No.15 to Gold Coast for No.2 and No.3.
Lukosius and Rankine are both rated top-three talents.
Power livewire Jake Neade could be delisted. Collingwood is circling the small forward, while North Melbourne's interest in Neade has cooled.