Giants want Cats ‘assets’ in Jezza exchange
Greater Western Sydney is determined to get its hands on Geelongs "assets" as part of a deal for Jeremy Cameron.
And it is hunting a first-round pick for Jye Caldwell.
List boss Jason McCartney affirmed that the Giants are "keen to be compensated well" for Cameron's departure after the key forward declared his intention to get to the Cats.
The Giants matched Geelong's free agency offer, sparking the need to strike a trade which the Giants are determined should favour them, with McCartney adamant that Cameron's worth be recognised.
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"Arguably, Jeremy's been the best player in our club's history over the nine years and his record speaks for itself - All-Australian twice and Coleman medallist a year ago," he said on ABC Radio.
"He's one we didn't want to lose and he's in the prime of his football career.
"So the reason we matched the free agency was we weren't going to be satisfied with the compensation we would be handed for a player of that calibre.
"Geelong has some assets in regards to players and also some nice selections that we'd be interested in looking at a combination of what we can do in order to facilitate that move for Jeremy."
The Cats received three first-round picks from West Coast in exchange for Tim Kelly last year - including future picks - which McCartney said could prove a comparative situation.
"We're keen to get compensated well, there's no doubt about that," he said.
"You look at every trade to get some data and the history … I suppose with Tim Kelly last year, he was only 18 months younger than Jeremy, a fantastic midfielder, but had only been at the Cats for two years.
"Obviously Jeremy has spent nine years with us, and we would have been looking to retain him for another five or six years.
"We need to be compensated well and I'm sure that (Cats list boss) Stephen Wells and Geelong will be keen to work through that with us to get the result that we desire."
He said that the Giants tabled a "formal letter" to Geelong on the opening day of the trade period and have been speaking since, McCartney said, adamant that "the phone is certainly on" despite reports to the contrary.
"We're in discussions, which is obviously really positive," he said on ABC Radio.
"We put forward something to Geelong on the opening day of the trade period in writing, so since then Stephen Wells and myself have been having some conversations.
"We've got next week to resolve that one."
He also said that the Giants and Cameron had preliminary discussions about potentially staying should a free agency deal be matched and he stay, which would be revisited now that a trade had to be struck.
The Giants are also determined to be "compensated well" for Caldwell, who is seeking a move to Essendon.
McCartney said having used pick 11 on Caldwell in the 2018 draft, "we certainly don't see anything that's changed, and he's actually got better".
"We understand Jye's looking to get back close to family and more opportunities, but we've also invested an enormous amount of time in Jye and Jye's done really well in conjunction with our medical team," McCartney said.
"He's cherry ripe and ready to explode. We're disappointed that Jye's made that decision.
"(Bombers list manager) Adrian Dodoro is tied up trying to facilitate a few deals at the moment, but we know in our own mind where we selected Jye and the work that's gone in that we need to be compensated around that mark, that's for sure."
BOMBERS IN PLAY TO HELP CATS LAND JEZZA
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The Cats have picks 13, 15, 20 and 38 to help clinch a deal for Cameron but says youngsters Brandan Parfitt and Esava Ratugolea are off limits.
GWS knocked back pick No.10 as free agency compensation in the hope of securing an earlier pick or a juicier suite of selections from the Cats.
Essendon, which has picks No.6, No.7 and could attain No.8 from Carlton, is open to trading one of its choices to the Cats as part of a Cameron deal.
Geelong's pick 13 and 38 are equal to pick 7 in draft points if the Giants were interested in maximising their position.
There is the option to try and walk Cameron to the Cats through the draft, but Geelong list boss Stephen Wells said the club had engaged in talks with the Giants in good faith.
"If we can do a deal where the Giants are better off than what they would have been with the free agency compensation issued by the AFL than I think we have got those assets at our disposal to try and come up with something so that they are better off," Wells said on Trade Radio.
Wells wouldn't comment specifically on what the club was willing to part with or what the Giants had targeted.
But he said the Cats had options with their draft hand.
"It is very early in the piece as far as trying to organise a deal now that the Giants have matched that offer as a free agent," Wells said.
"He has nominated that he would like to come to Geelong and we will do what we can within good reason to facilitate that trade."
Wells said there had been dialogue with the Giants on Thursday.
The club has already secured Hawthorn veteran Isaac Smith and is also expected to land North Melbourne playmaker Shaun Higgins.
The Cats were in talks with the former Saint about a payout.
"It is a really sensitive one, I think I'm a bit disappointed it has become public," Wells said.
"It is very hard for some people being an AFL player and it was made even harder for some people having to be in a hub.
"The situation is really Jack is considering his options. If Jack is able to do what is required to be an AFL player than he will be playing for Geelong but he is considering his options at the moment."
The Cats are confident defender Jordan Clark wants to stay amid strong interest from Fremantle. Nakia Cockatoo is exploring a move to Brisbane Lions.
Wells said Higgins had indicated he wanted to play for Geelong next season, but was unsure whether pick 38 would be enough for the Roos in a trade.
"We would like Shaun to join our club. It is not something we pursued this year but it has turned out that we are in a position where if we could get a deal done he would like to come and play for us," he said.
Originally published as Giants want Cats 'assets' in Jezza exchange