MELBOURNE has left the door open for Jesse Hogan to seek a trade to Fremantle.
And if that happens, the Demons will chase Gold Coast captain Steven May hard.
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Melbourne has steadfastly fought off advances from the Dockers in the past, with the WA club keen to lure power forward Hogan back to his home state.
But the Demons have softened their stance with Hogan, who has dealt with the death of his father and testicular cancer in the past 18 months, and is out of contract at the end of next season.
“Jesse’s got a bit of thinking to do over the next few days,” Mahoney told AFL Trade Radio on Tuesday.
“He’s at a stage of his career where he’s got to work out what’s best for him and one option he wants to consider is going back to Perth.
“He’s going to take the next few days to think about that. (A trade) is certainly a chance at this stage.
“Through his management he’ll come back to us before the trade period starts on Monday.”
The Demons are keen for the 23-year-old to stay but are understanding of his personal circumstances should he request a trade, which was floated by Hogan in a conversation with coach Simon Goodwin after the forward’s official exit interview.
If that is how the situation unfolds, they will demand a hefty return, most likely two first-round draft picks.
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That scenario would give them salary cap space and picks to satisfy the Suns to part with the contracted May, which is the only way he’ll join the club.
Mahoney confirmed the Demons had spoken to May twice to discuss the potential of a trade from the Suns, which would involved him breaking his contract.
“We wouldn’t be able to afford Steven May with Jesse on our list, so that’s the way they’re linked and it’s an opportunity that is created for us, but there’s a decision to be made by Jesse first of all,” Mahoney said.
“As a club we have to look at every possible opportunity and Steven May is a player we’ve been tracking for a little while.
“We think as a club if he decides to come to Melbourne, we’d be a really good choice for him.”
Mahoney also confirmed his club is interested in luring out-of-contract defender Kade Kolodjashnij from Gold Coast.
“He’s the type of player we’re looking for. He’s 190cm, plays half-back and wing, and we think he’ll really bolster the strength of our running midfield,” Mahoney said.
“We’ve spoken to Gold Coast and then hopefully he’s a player we’ll get a trade done for in the trade period.
“We’ve done a thorough medical, he had some concussion issues this year, which he’s worked on in the second half of the year and they found out what’s going on there and he was able to play some footy after that. We’re comfortable he’s over those issues.”
Mahoney said North Melbourne ruckman Braydon Preuss was a player of interest.
“We need some support for Max (Gawn). What he’s been able to do by himself is extraordinary and we know that’s going to get harder and harder every year,” he said.
“Braydon hasn’t been getting a game so we’re looking at those sorts of players and he is an option, but he’s amongst a number of different options for us in that role.
“He’s shown he can play forward at different stages and be a No. 1 ruck as well, but there’s a few other options we’re looking at as well.”
The manager of injury-plagued forward Dean Kent revealed last week that St Kilda was prepared to offer him a three-year deal.
Mahoney also confirmed that likely move after Kent spoke to the club.
“It’s been through lack of opportunities for Dean, which have mainly been off the back of injuries,” Mahoney said.
“With St Kilda, there’s an opportunity for him to get a longer-term deal and more opportunities to play, so we’ll hopefully sit down with St Kilda and get a trade done.”
Mahoney admitted that Dom Tyson might struggle to play consistently in Melbourne’s best 22 next season.
“Discussions with Dom are about opportunities to play in his prime position as an inside mid. We’ve gone heavily in the draft in that area and it’s probably our strongest area and it’s forced him to play in some different roles,” Mahoney said.
“He’s looking for opportunities to play that role, we’re supportive of him to do that.
“We’re comfortable if he wants to stay … but also if an opportunity comes up we’ll look at that as well.”
Sydney football manager Tom Harley earlier this week confirmed the club was keen on luring Aaron vandenBerg from the Demons.
“His father died during the year and family wise, his mother is moving to Sydney and that creates an opportunity for him to look at the Sydney Swans,” Mahoney said.
“He loves being at Melbourne and we love Aaron … it’s one that’s out of our control at the moment as it’s a decision he has to make.
“We want him to stay and hopefully he decides to stay.”
Mahoney said the club was unlikely to entertain a trade for speedster Jayden Hunt, who missed ample games in 2018 due to injury and form.
“He was one of those players we thought was a missing link for us in late in the year,” Mahoney said.
“He’s the type of player that we need and we were desperate to get him into the team late and the timing didn’t do his way with the amount of footy he had missed through injury.
“We certainly wouldn’t be entertaining anything with Jayden, he’s got a lot of upside so we’re looking forward to him having a full pre-season.”
— with AAP