Who wants a piece of the action? Richmond's Dustin Martin. Photo: Wayne Taylor
Despite holding pick No.2 in the pre-season and national drafts and having a midfield need, Melbourne has ruled out pursuing Richmond's out-of-contract midfielder Dustin Martin, while the Brisbane Lions are prepared to meet with Martin's management and will do their ''due diligence'' before making any play.
Greater Western Sydney is meeting Martin, who has opted to pursue offers from rival clubs after his negotiations with the Tigers stalled, but a number of clubs, including Carlton, Collingwood and - most significantly - the lowly Demons have chosen not to pursue the highly talented and high-maintenance 22-year-old midfielder.
Melbourne's newly appointed senior coach Paul Roos had conversations with Martin's manager, Ralph Carr, after Carr contacted him, but it is understood that the Demons have discussed Martin internally and ruled against pursuing the midfielder, whom clubs believe is seeking about $600,000 a season. Richmond has been close to $100,000 shy of that amount.
Melbourne is believed to have viewed the anticipated price tag for Martin as excessive.
Carlton, touted as a potential bidder for Martin given the club's wish to improve its midfield, also has indicated it is not interested in Martin - contrary to speculation that Mick Malthouse would be willing to punt on the explosive midfielder.
Collingwood, too, is not interested in Martin, despite that club's apparent need for both speed and some bigger bodied midfielders.
The Lions have indicated that they will speak to Martin's management, but any decision to pursue the midfielder would almost certainly require approval by the club hierarchy. The Lions are mindful of the disruption caused by Brendan Fevola's expensive recruitment at the end of 2009, and while the shy Martin is a far cry from the extroverted ''Fev,'' the club will exercise caution before deciding whether Martin is wanted.
Collingwood, meanwhile, is set to put a revised offer this week to Dale Thomas, who is considered likely to walk to Carlton as a free agent. Thomas is slated to have a medical examination by the Blues, who are well placed to sign ''Daisy'' on a long-term deal.
The Blues have not yet been told that free agent small forward Eddie Betts is leaving, though there is little chance of them matching an anticipated massive offer from Adelaide.
Like Thomas, Betts is a restricted free agent, which allows his club to match the nominated bid and retain him. In both instances, this is unlikely.
Melbourne is among the clubs to have shown interest in GWS midfielder Taylor Adams, who is expected to leave the Giants and join a Victorian club. Richmond, Carlton and Geelong have all shown interest in Adams, who has met various Victorian clubs.
Richmond has taken a tough stance on Martin, announcing that the midfielder was fielding offers from other clubs after months of negotiations failed to reach agreement, the club expressing ''disappointment'' that the player was fielding offers.
Martin, however, quickly responded by tweeting that he had not ''walked out'' on the club. Martin said he had asked Carr to request an extension of time from Richmond, ''to allow me to fully consider the options about my future.
''As you can understand, this is a very important decision for myself and my family and one that I won't make lightly.''