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Crows and Demons face off over young star

Football

Melbourne and Adelaide appear destined to lock horns at the AFL trade table over a fair deal for wantaway Crows defender Jake Lever.

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The Demons are prepared to offer a combination of a first and second round pick at this year’s and future drafts for Lever.

But that’s unlikely to satisfy Adelaide, who reportedly want two first-round draft picks in return for the uncontracted Victorian during this month’s AFL trade period.

“We’ve got a deal on the table with Adelaide right now that involves our first and second round picks,” Demons head of football Josh Mahoney told SEN radio today.

“One of those will potentially be a future. That’s our offer and we look forward to sitting down (with Adelaide).

“In terms of the money, what I can say is other clubs have offered more money than us for him to return to Victoria and he chose us, based on the plan we’ve got, the list we’ve got and the improvements we’ve shown.

“It’s within our pay scale and we are really comfortable with the offer we made.”

Lever, whose manager Ned Guy was today named as Collingwood’s new head of list management, confirmed on Tuesday his desire to be traded to the Demons after 56 games across three seasons with the Crows.

“I’ll be going back to Melbourne to be with family and friends and I’ve nominated the Melbourne Football Club,” Lever told the Seven Network.

“If there’s not (a trade done) I’ll probably go into the draft.”

Lever has established himself as a top-quality intercept defender since he was the 14th overall pick at the 2014 draft.

Adelaide don’t care which of the 10 Victorian clubs Lever joins – they just want fair compensation.

“We’re in discussions with a number of Melbourne-based teams and at the end of the day, he’s not a free agent,” Adelaide football chief Brett Burton told AFL Trade Radio.

“It’s irrelevant to myself and the Adelaide footy club where he wants to go to.

“We’ll deal with whoever gives the best value.”

Burton said it was clear Lever’s decision was financially motivated and that the Crows weren’t prepared to make the 21-year-old the highest-paid player at the club.

Guy’s appointment today by Collingwood will raise eyebrows across the AFL.

With the trade period looming, Collingwood has named him as new general manager in charge of list management and strategy.

In a statement, Collingwood said Guy’s start date hadn’t been finalised due to his “immediate player management commitments”.

Guy’s stable of players includes Adelaide’s Rory Sloane and Eddie Betts.

– with AAP

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