Chris Dawes remains a Magpie for now. Photo: Paul Rovere
MELBOURNE insists pick 20 will be a fair trade for Chris Dawes when it attempts to broker a deal for the Collingwood key forward.
Dawes wants to join the Demons next season but Magpies football manager Geoff Walsh has said Melbourne's late first-round selection may not be enough to secure a trade. Dawes is contracted to the Magpies for two more seasons.
However, the Demons yesterday said they would not be willing to part with another selection or a player for Dawes, declaring their offer fair and reasonable.
The Magpies could also be reminded they were happy to take pick 17 from the Eagles in exchange for Sharrod Wellingham. Thus, the Demons believe their offer for Dawes, a player rated on a similar scale, should suffice.
The Demons have picks four, 20, 26 and 45 in next month's national draft. Melbourne collected pick 20 as part of its deal with GWS to the rights of Jesse Hogan, 17.
Should discussions fail between the Demons and Magpies, the Western Bulldogs, with pick 21, could emerge as a possible home for the 24-year-old.
The Demons are also interested in boosting their midfield run by securing Farren Ray.
As they go about rebuilding their list, the Demons are also keen on North Melbourne's Cameron Pederson, with the utility's management of the opinion a second-round pick would be enough to get a deal done.
The Eagles want to trade for homesick Saint Jamie Cripps but list manager Craig Vozzo yesterday maintained Mitch Brown would not be part of any deal and would remain an Eagle next season. The Saints, however, are determined to pursue Brown, who had sought a trade, in a bid to strengthen their back line and have not ruled out reopening negotiations. They would be prepared to offer the 23-year-old a three-year contract.
Brown's manager, Liam Pickering, has cast further doubt on any move.
''According to West Coast, it's not going to happen,'' Pickering said.
Brown, the twin of Collingwood's Nathan, has a year to run on his contract. He has been unable to get a regular game with the Eagles, managing just eight last season and sits behind tall defenders Darren Glass, Will Schofield and Eric Mackenzie.
Pickering also said he was confident he would find a new home for former Port Adelaide midfielder David Rodan.
The Cats continue to work on a deal to secure Melbourne's Jared Rivers.
Meanwhile, St Kilda's bid for high leaping young Gold Coast ruckman Tom Hickey is facing some possible competition from North Melbourne and Essendon, both of which are in the market for back-up ruckmen.
While the Saints have offered Hickey a three-year deal and are his preferred destination, the Dons and North also have an interest in Hickey.
St Kilda has been the clear frontrunner for Hickey, the Saints wishing to find a higher leaping ruckman to support Ben McEvoy. Hickey has a background as an elite volleyballer and the Suns say his scope for improvement is enormous given his relative lack of experience.
Essendon is yet to re-contract David Hille, while North is in negotiations with Geelong over a trade for Hamish McIntosh, opening up a vacancy for a younger ruckman to support Todd Goldstein.
St Kilda's football operations chief Chris Pelchen has confirmed that it would entertain trading the draft pick it will receive for Brendon Goddard - the club expects this to be pick No.13 - if the right deal is there.
Hawthorn free agent Clinton Young remains undecided about his future. Port and Collingwood have met with him. The Power, who saw Young on Friday, believe Young wishes to remain in Victoria and probably with the Hawks, with whom he remains on excellent terms.
With JAKE NIALL