TWO key dominoes of trade week - Josh Caddy and Kurt Tippett - could take time to fall, with their clubs insisting on major compensation.
Gold Coast wants two first-round picks for Caddy, a talented midfielder who played 22 matches last season.
But St Kilda and Geelong - the clubs leading the chase for his signature - have told the Suns they will not meet this demand.
The Saints have already used their first pick, No. 12 overall, in a deal for Claremont key forward Tom Lee, but they most likely will also have No. 13 as compensation for losing Brendon Goddard to free agency.
The Cats' top pick is No. 15 overall and they still have a first-round compensation selection for losing Gary Ablett, which they have yet to activate.
This compensation would appeal to the Suns because they can hold off on using it until 2014.
Despite the stand-off, Saints general manager player list and legal affairs Ameet Bains said Caddy was ''certainly still in the mix''.
''We have had some selections with Gold Coast and we will keep having those discussions. What is unknown is where we might land a pick for Brendon departing to Essendon,'' he said.
''We would like to think it's in that range [No. 13], but the AFL won't confirm it for another couple of weeks.''
Caddy's manager, Peter Lenton, yesterday said the Cats led the chase.
Rival clubs feel the Suns are posturing and will eventually temper their demands.
The Swans and Crows met over breakfast yesterday before the three-week trade period officially began, but they did not chat again when all clubs gathered at Etihad Stadium.
Crows chairman Rob Chapman has said the handshake deal Tippett brokered with the club when he signed his last contract in 2009, allowing him, should he opt to leave, to cross to the club of his choice with relative ease, possibly for a second-round draft choice, meant nothing now as Tippett was not heading to his home state of Queensland.
This is likely to see the Crows ask for an established player plus possibly the Swans' first-round selection, No. 22 overall, in return.
The Crows now have an additional $800,000 under the salary cap to sign an established star.
It's understood the Crows have said they would be after a defender or forward, but Swans chief executive Andrew Ireland said specific players or draft picks had yet to be mentioned.
He did not rule out a third team emerging in a deal.
Ireland denied suggestions the Swans had a ''blanket rule'' of refusing to allow any of this season's premiership stars to be traded.
Tippett's reasons for leaving the Crows have been varied, with Ireland yesterday insisting one reason was because he had struggled to deal with life in an AFL heartland.
''Certainly from my discussions with Kurt, he really enjoyed himself at the Adelaide footy club, but the fact was he was looking to move away from that fishbowl existence,'' he said.
Ireland again defended the cost-of-living allowance afforded to the Swans, an additional $862,000 this season in the salary cap.
The likes of Hawthorn president Andrew Newbold have termed that allowance ''archaic''.
Essendon and Port Adelaide have brokered a deal that delivers forward Angus Monfries to the Power for a draft pick, delivering both clubs a win by avoiding free-agency compensation.
Monfries will join Port, accepting a four-year deal, in exchange for the Power's third-round draft pick (48).
As a free agent, Monfries could have moved to Port for nothing, but if that had occurred, the compensation Port would have received for losing Troy Chaplin and Danyle Pearce would have been diluted.
Having brought Goddard into the club as a free agent, Essendon would not have received a draft pick in compensation for losing 25-year-old Monfries, as all free-agency compensation is based on a net result of free agents coming and going from the club. Essendon made Monfries a two-year offer.
Carlton has expressed interest in Collingwood's Chris Dawes, Essendon's Scott Gumbleton and Port Adelaide defender Matt Thomas, but Blues football manager Andrew McKay suggested his club had little interest in North Melbourne's Lachie Hansen, who is keen to explore his options.
It's understood the Blues are also interested in a hardnut midfielder.
Up to five clubs are believed to have expressed interest in Gumbleton.
Jordan Gysberts is likely to make his way to Geelong later in the trade period, possibly for a second-round pick.
Both the Bombers and Western Bulldogs have some interest in out-of-contract West Coast midfielder Koby Stevens but are looking to spend no more than a third-round choice.
GWS list manager Steve Silvagni said there had been some interest in ruckman Jonathan Giles, who has yet to re-commit to the club.