Gold Coast have opened contract negotiations with Charlie Dixon, and remain confident the forward-ruckman will remain at the club.
It's understood Dixon has attracted the strong interest of the Brisbane Lions, with his three-year contract set to expire. He had also been linked with Melbourne-based clubs.
Discussions with Dixon, who was managed by Velocity Sports, had been on hold while Velocity's AFL department was sold to Vivid Sports, now under the chairmanship of former St Kilda chief, Michael Nettlefold.
Suns' list manager Scott Clayton said he had opened discussions with Dixon, who has booted 11 goals in three games since returning to the team.
"We are talking through how that (contract) looks," he said.
Clayton said he had heard the Lions were interested in the 24-year-old.
"They are saying they want a tall forward but it's easier said than done for them," he said.
"I would be confident that we (Suns and Dixon) move forward together."
Dixon has played 52 matches in four years, with some questioning his willingness to embrace the professional attitude required to enjoy consistency at the top level.
Dixon is one of a number of key forwards out of contract. Carlton's Lachie Henderson and Essendon's Jake Carlisle could also be on the open market.
Lions chief executive Greg Swann met with the manager of James Aish on Monday, in a bid to clear up confusion over the midfielder's intentions beyond this season.
Pickering, who denied he and Aish had met with Carlton last week, said the discussions had gone well.
"We will continue contract discussions through the course of the year," Pickering said.
Aish has been dropped twice this season, with industry insiders claiming the Blues, Adelaide and Collingwood are interested in luring the South Australian.
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