Bulldogs talk tough on Stringer AFL deal

Oct 6, 2017 - 1:01 AM Western Bulldogs are adamant they will not gift-wrap The Package for a rival AFL club.

Bulldogs list manager Jason McCartney said they will demand a decent first-round draft pick for All-Australian Jake Stringer.

But that looks unlikely and Stringer's fate will dominate the trade period, which starts on Monday.

The star utility is on the trade table and over the weekend he is set to nominate Essendon as his preferred destination.

McCartney was asked on Friday if the Bulldogs would demand a first-round pick in exchange for Stringer.

"It's fair to say and it wouldn't be a late first-rounder that's for sure," he told AFL trade radio.

"We're looking a bit better than that because he's 23, we've seen it before.

"He has things to work on but he's a huge talent; so we're not gift-wrapping him to another club, that's for sure."

Despite the souring of the relationship between the Bulldogs and Stringer, he remains under contract.

McCartney said Stringer could stay at the club if they do not strike the right deal.

"Most definitely, I could see Jake playing with us in 2018," he said.

"We'll work closely with Essendon, or whoever it is, but he is contracted."

The trade period runs until October 19 and McCartney said they are in no rush to strike a deal for Stringer.

He added they are yet to start discussions with Essendon, who hold pick No.11 in the national draft.

"It's very calculated, what we're trying to do, and we'll take as much time as possible to get an outcome that's best for our footy club," McCartney said.

Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge confirmed last month that they were putting Stringer on the trade table.

Last weekend, Stringer's former partner dropped a bombshell in the media when she claimed he cheated on her while they were together and he has a gambling problem.

His manager Paul Connors said on Friday that Stringer is yet to make the final call on his preferred new club.

"He's contracted, so you can never rule that out 100 per cent (staying at the Bulldogs), but I think there's a meeting of the minds that it's best for Jake to play elsewhere," Connors said.

"We've got faith in (the Bombers) that if he did choose Essendon, they could get the deal done.

"But, again, when you're contracted it's a lot more complicated than if you're not.

"On the flip side to that, Jake wanted to stay, they wanted to move him, and now we're acting on that."

Adam Saad (Gold Coast) and Devon Smith (GWS) have declared Essendon is their club of choice ahead of the trade period.

Source: AAP

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