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Brad Crouch on Bombers’ radar as Crows continue talks

The Crows have been in ongoing discussions with the midfielder with his asking price key to discussions.

If he decides to leave he will have suitors, however, other clubs would not be prepared to pay overs for him.

Crows midfielder Brad Crouch (right) with coach Matthew Nicks after the win over the Giants.

Crows midfielder Brad Crouch (right) with coach Matthew Nicks after the win over the Giants.Credit:Getty Images

The Bombers are expected to hang on to their first-round draft pick at the December 2020 draft but have cleared a list spot with the retirement of Conor McKenna while Joe Daniher’s future at the club remains uncertain. They are also yet to come to an agreement with Adam Saad while Andy McGrath has not officially been recontracted although he is expected to remain.

Essendon’s failure to make the finals has put the club under pressure with frustration among their supporters and several players clear as they struggle to create any momentum despite building a talented list.

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Interest in Crouch is growing among opposition clubs as he has shown his class, with Geelong also closely monitoring the Crows’ 2019 best-and-fairest winner.

The desire to chase the on-baller hard will depend on his demands with clubs currently weighing up their list management options in an environment of extreme uncertainty given the AFL and the Players’ Association are unlikely to conclude their CBA review quickly.

Crouch explored options last season to depart Adelaide despite having one year to run on his contract but he decided to remain in 2020 after clubs baulked at his asking price. List managers don’t expect him to get near what he was proposing last trade period.

However, in his last two matches since returning from his hamstring injury, he has shown his class, being among the Crows’ best against Hawthorn as the club chalked up their first win for the season and then gaining 31 touches in the upset win over the Giants. His presence has been vital to the Crows turning their form around.

Adelaide have been in constant discussions with his management this season and have not embarked on a rebuild after falling away when they lost the 2017 grand final, with half-a-dozen senior players leaving the club at the end of last season.

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