Blues big early winners as trade trifecta nears
Carlton is within touching distance of securing its trio of small forwards after Sydney agreed to open discussions on star half forward Tom Papley.
On a day of posturing and opening gambits, Sydney eased back on its hard-line position that a player contracted until 2023 would never be traded.
The Swans might need Carlton's pick nine in a trade for Essendon's Joe Daniher, and are also attempting to lure Daniher while out of contract.
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Talks continue on the Blues' trade for Gold Coast's Jack Martin as Carlton confirmed they wanted Eddie Betts to return as a goalkicker who also added leadership.
It means that while all of those deals will take some time to broker, Carlton ended the first of nine trade days believing it would land those three players.
"Eddie's a unique one in that he's contracted and he's indicated, also, he'd like to get to Carlton," Carlton recruiting boss Mick Agresta said.
"We think Eddie culturally can add a lot on and off the field. We'll have those conversations with Adelaide and get the best outcome for both clubs."
Adelaide list boss Justin Reid said of Betts' determination to move home: "It's a family decision in regards to Eddie. It's something they are working through."
Asked if the Crows would confirm they would pay some of Betts' deal, Reid replied: "We will work through the finer details in the background".
Sydney football boss Charlie Gardiner softened the club's position that Papley wasn't moving back to Victoria.
"He is a contracted player and a really highly valued player," he said.
"That said, we can understand he has expressed his desire to come back to Melbourne and there will be clubs interested in talking to us about Tom and we expect to have those discussions with Tom this week. Our overriding mandate is to do the best thing by the footy club."
Carlton seems to have cooled on its interest in Richmond's Dan Butler given its links to the three small forwards.
Agresta said the Blues didn't need to bolster their young midfield despite Patrick Cripps' heavy load.
"We're really confident with our young players coming through and we really believe in our list," Agresta said.
"It's not something that's a real high priority. Something might jump out in the next nine days but at the moment, we've got a really strong belief in our own list as well."