Two young defenders on opposite sides of the world will help shape the final four days of AFL trade period.
Collingwood’s Tom Langdon will soon be clambering up Mount Kilimanjaro with family, while Hawthorn’s Ryan Burton is on holidays in the United States.
The backmen remain two key dominoes in the trade period, with several clubs holding a vested interest in where they end up playing in 2019.
List and football managers took a collective breath on a quiet Saturday, finalising plans for the frenzy that will precede Wednesday’s 8.30pm (AEDT) deadline.
Langdon has three attractive offers in front of him.
The 24-year-old will re-sign with the Magpies, join brother Ed at Fremantle or become a Swan in Sydney.
The Dockers, whose blunt approach to the silly season has made a poor impression on some clubs, publicly announced on Friday they’d pulled out of talks with Melbourne regarding key forward Jesse Hogan.
But Langdon’s next move could have a knock-on effect regarding a deal for GWS ruckman Rory Lobb, who requested a trade to Fremantle last week.
The Dockers, whose reigning best and fairest Lachie Neale wants to be traded to Brisbane, are also locked in tense talks with the Lions.
Collingwood have been linked with Adelaide defender Jake Kelly and Gold Coast co-captain Steven May but those pursuits will obviously be affected by Langdon’s decision.
However, it appears the Pies are set to add the Western Bulldogs Jordan Roughead to their key tall stocks regardless of which way Langdon goes.
The restricted free agent had met with West Coast before they traded for St Kilda’s Tom Hickey and is now poised to join Nathan Buckley’s side.
The free agency period closed on Friday afternoon, which means Collingwood will need to work a trade for the versatile tall, who is on the outer at Whitten Oval.
Burton has been floated as the unlucky player that Hawthorn will offload as they chase Port Adelaide star Chad Wingard.
Burton is contracted to the Hawks until the end of 2020 and only learned he may possibly be put on the trade table while in America.
The Hawks hope they can retain Burton and still wrangle a deal for Wingard, while also recruiting GWS midfielder Tom Scully.
Giants gun Dylan Shiel is no closer to joining Essendon but those talks are likely to run late into the final day of the trade period.
The future of several free agents remained up in the air when Friday’s deadline passed.
But even though the likes of Daniel Menzel (Geelong) and Tom Liberatore (Bulldogs) remain unsigned, they still have options.
Some will sign new deals with their current clubs, while others can find new homes via the trade period, the delisted free agency period, which opens on November 1, or even the draft.
KEY FREE AGENTS WHO DIDN’T FIND A NEW CLUB:
* Jordan Roughead (Western Bulldogs)
* Tom Liberatore (Western Bulldogs)
* Daniel Menzel (Geelong)
* George Horlin-Smith (Geelong)
* Taylor Duryea (Hawthorn)
* Ryan Schoenmakers (Hawthorn)
* Jarryd Blair (Collingwood)