The Bulldogs held a list management meeting on Friday and their staunch opposition to trading the 23-year-old appears to have softened but only if Essendon come up with a deal that is too attractive for them to decline.
Dunkley’s manager Liam Pickering told SEN on Saturday that the Bombers were putting together a proposal for the midfielder and said the trade was possible before Thursday’s deadline.
“There will be a deal for everybody if they want to do it. That is really up to the Dogs now,” Pickering said.
The Bulldogs admitted they were monitoring the situation with Collingwood’s Adam Treloar, who the Magpies are hoping to trade, however, they remained uncertain about whether they would make a play for the 27-year-old, who is reportedly resigned to departing Collingwood despite having a contract that runs until 2025.
The Bulldogs delisted three players on Friday but announced on Saturday they had re-signed unlucky midfielder Lin Jong, who is a tough in and under midfielder who could step into Dunkley’s shoes if required. Jong, who resisted the opportunity to join the Gold Coast several years ago, signed a one-year deal.
They will acquire Melbourne’s Mitch Hannan and, if he passes a fitness test, Lions ruckman Stefan Martin, but they have no intention of securing St Kilda’s small forward Jack Lonie. They had an interest in Essendon’s Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti last year and could consider enquiring about his availability if they agree to trade Dunkley.
Essendon have plenty on their plate with the Giants demanding an early pick for the 20-year-old they drafted with pick No.11 in the 2018 national draft after he played nine games this season.
They also have to negotiate deals that would see Peter Wright join the club, Adam Saad go to Carlton and Orazio Fantasia to Port Adelaide.
The Giants’ football manager Jason McCartney told the ABC on Saturday the club had penned a formal letter to Geelong on the opening day of the trade period which outlined what they thought would satisfy them in exchange for Cameron.
The Giants were hoping for a mix of players and draft picks although key Cats such as Brandan Parfitt and Esava Ratugolea have given initial indications they don’t want to move.
St Kilda also delisted Matthew Parker on Saturday after 19 games in two seasons at the Saints. The energetic Parker burst on to the scene in 2019 but struggled to find a spot this season after St Kilda’s off-season recruiting drive.
Peter Ryan is a sports reporter with The Age covering AFL, horse racing and other sports.