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The Trades – Day 10: Day of drama as Gibbs set to go home

Off, on, off: The deal isn’t done yet, but it looks like Carlton veteran Bryce Gibbs is heading home to SA to play for the Crows. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

The Trades – Day 10: Day of drama as Gibbs set to go home

Benjamin Savona    

It’s been an AFL trade period which at times has seldom moved beyond second gear, but approaching Thursday’s 2pm deadline, things are finally starting to heat up down at AFL House.

Wednesday was a day which saw another couple of lower-profile deals completed, but it was talk around a potential high profile trade which really set tongues wagging late in the afternoon.

SEN’s Matt Granland was among the first to suggest that despite reports Bryce Gibbs was staying put at Carlton, the Blues had in fact opened a dialogue with Adelaide about a potential trade of the veteran midfielder.

Rumours surrounding the South Australian have been circling for the entirety of the trade period, but most seemed resigned to the fact Gibbs, after having initially sought a trade back home a year ago, would again remain with his original AFL club.

But there was obvious movement at the station when Adelaide list manager Justin Reid arrived at the AFL late in the day, with reports swirling a deal involving Gibbs was about to be secured.

But Reid left with no comment and with no deal clinched, the Herald-Sun reporting that Carlton believed it had the deal done until a misunderstanding between the two clubs scuppered what appeared a certain trade.

Gibbs appears likely to end up at Adelaide, but the clock is ticking on the two clubs’ capacity to broker an agreement before the 2pm deadline.

Carlton appeared set to send Gibbs and a 2018 second-round selection to the Crows in exchange for pick No.10 and Adelaide’s 2018 first and second-round selections. But Adelaide did not believe the future second-round pick was part of the deal.

The Blues hope to retain a second-round selection in next year’s draft to help secure Greater Western Sydney midfielder Matthew Kennedy. They’re also hopeful of landing Geelong speedster Darcy Lang, who nominated Carlton as his preferred destination.

Kennedy’s shift to Ikon Park appeared a certainty last week, but it may take the Gibbs trade to now give Carlton a strong enough hand to pick him up. Brisbane, meanwhile, which was also reported to be chasing Kennedy, appears to have lost interest.

Melbourne, meanwhile, after bidding farewell to Jack Watts on Tuesday, on Wednesday said hello to young Fremantle player Harley Balic. The 20-year-old Fremantle midfielder was secured for pick 66 in the draft. Balic, who requested a trade home to Victoria months ago, had earlier been linked to Hawthorn.

In what has been a rollercoaster couple of days for Demons’ fans, bringing some young midfield talent into the mix may just make the loss of Watts a little easier to take, Balic showing promise in his four senior games for the Dockers in 2017.

Lang, who had been viewed as the potential circuit-breaker in the Gary Ablett trade, has thrown a spanner in the works with his preference for Carlton.

The Geelong midfielder was connected to both Gold Coast and North Melbourne over the last two weeks but was most strongly touted as the piece of the puzzle which that would get Ablett back to Simonds Stadium.

And wantaway Docker Lachie Weller has made his intentions of a move from Fremantle pretty clear. Weller, speaking to AFL Trade Radio on Wednesday, suggested that the Dockers would be “pretty silly” not to accept the deal offered by Gold Coast, Fremantle insisting the Suns give up pick No. 2 in exchange for the talented midfielder.

And in a slightly left-field exchange, Adelaide fringe player Harrison Wigg has been traded to Gold Coast, alongside pick 54 and a future fourth-round pick, in exchange for pick 39 this year.

Wigg, who plays both half-back and midfield, has been starved of opportunity since joining the Crows in 2014.

Get set for a big final day of the trade period and stayed tuned to Footyology for a comprehensive wrap of all the action.

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