Gold Coast captain Tom Lynch is a big free agency target.
Gold Coast captain Tom Lynch is a big free agency target.

Tigers’ war chest to target Lynch

RICHMOND has armed itself with enough salary cap space to poach Gold Coast Suns superstar Tom Lynch.

The reigning premiers are confident they can afford the restricted free agent just 12 months after re-signing Brownlow Medallist Dustin Martin on the richest contract in the club's history.

Lynch, 25, is likely to command about $1.2 million per season from 2019.

That means a five-year contract would likely cost about $6 million.

Last year the Tigers signed Martin on a seven-year deal worth more than $8 million.

The Tigers have long held an interest in Lynch, who would reunite with premiership midfielder Dion Prestia at Punt Rd.

The pair spent six years at the Suns together after Prestia was drafted at No.9 and Lynch at No.10 in 2010.

Tom Lynch celebrates Gold Coast’s win over Carlton.
Tom Lynch celebrates Gold Coast’s win over Carlton.

The key to Lynch's decision is whether he wants to spend the prime of his career at a powerhouse club or remain at the Suns.

Richmond's war chest might surprise some of its players, who accepted smaller contracts last year because they believed the salary cap was tight.

The Herald Sun has revealed the Tigers have cracked an AFL record 90,000 members, whereas Gold Coast signed less than 12,000 last season.

But those who know the Sorrento star say he is a loyal person and they wouldn't be surprised if he stays.

Lynch's biggest contract offer is likely to come from the Suns and his commitment to new coach Stuart Dew would be a major boost to the future of the AFL-controlled franchise.

Tom Lynch kicks a goal. Picture: Michael Klein
Tom Lynch kicks a goal. Picture: Michael Klein

Lynch could then be topped up further at Gold Coast by receiving an AFL ambassadorship.

But Lynch also appears the perfect fit at Tigerland as Jack Riewoldt enters the twilight of his career.

Riewoldt turns 30 in October and Richmond's young key forwards, including draftee Callum Coleman-Jones (200cm), are still developing.

The Tigers can offer Lynch the opportunity to take his game to the next level by playing in front of an A-grade midfield.

Lynch has kicked 243 goals from 124 games but has played only 10 at the MCG.

The Tigers hunted a key forward last year and interviewed Josh Schache.

They went cold on Schache before the trade period and would've been aware Lynch was set to become a free agent this year.

Hawthorn has also been linked to Lynch, although it has traditionally baulked at giving out seven-figure contracts.



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