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Carlton getting closer to contract extension with skipper Marc Murphy

Carlton has moved to lock away captain Marc Murphy on a new long-term deal, before the Blues turn to dealing with a host of uncontracted stars.

Murphy has the right to test the open market at the end of the season when he will be a restricted free agent.

While Murphy has no desire to leave the club, the Blues do not want to leave anything to chance.

Blues chief executive Greg Swann said the club was ''getting close'' to agreeing to an extension with Murphy's manager Paul Connors, a deal Swann hopes will be longer than three years.

''It's not going to be done tomorrow, but it's progressing well,'' Swann said.

At 26, Murphy is still in the right bracket to even be handed a five-year deal. ''You get sick of - especially with free agency - you get sick of them coming out and having to fight every second or third year,'' Swann said.


''Those guys that are 25 or 26, I think they are after tenure, as distinct to the money. They get an advantage out of it but so does the club. You just lock it away and then you don't have to worry about it.''

Murphy will again be one of the Blues' prime movers this season, and will be more comfortable with the responsibilities of captaincy after a year in charge when he battled through a disrupted pre-season and later a broken cheekbone against Hawthorn.

The Blues also have Bryce Gibbs, Michael Jamison, Heath Scotland, Kade Simpson, Andrew Walker, Chris Judd and Jarrad Waite off contract this year.

Gibbs, another free agent, will also be a priority, although Swann said discussions had yet to open with him. ''We are trying to knock them off one at a time,'' he said.

Key defender Jamison and running half-back Simpson will also be important signatures.

Waite's three-year deal is set to expire. About to turn 31, his durability remains an issue, having failed to play at least 20 matches since 2008. He managed only 14 last year. Should he continue, the key forward - still a crucial part of the Blues' plans - is expected to be given a one-year deal.

Swann confirmed he had been approached about filling St Kilda's vacant CEO role but had told officials he was not interested.

It's understood former AFL operations manager Adrian Anderson and West Coast Eagles CEO Trevor Nisbett have also been contacted about the job.