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Cameron, Stringer in limbo as trade standoff continues

Football

The Adelaide Football Club continues to hold the line – at least publicly – against a go-home trade for Queenslander Charlie Cameron, with list manager Justin Reid suggesting the dashing forward remained an intrinsic part of the Crows’ plans for another flag tilt.

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As the AFL trade period ticks towards its Thursday deadline, Essendon today locked away a deal for Gold Coast speedster Adam Saad, while tensions between out-of-favour Bulldog Jake Stringer and his club continued to simmer.

But a deal to send Cameron to his club-of-choice – the Brisbane Lions – still appears a long way off, with Reid telling the AFL’s Trade Radio this morning that high draft picks being dangled held little appeal for the minor premier as it seeks to take the next step in 2018.

Brisbane is reportedly offering the pick it gained for free agent Tom Rockliff’s defection to Port Adelaide – likely to land around pick 20, but it also holds pick 12 in the national draft.

But Reid suggested Adelaide’s premiership window was wide open and “pick 12 ain’t going to help me next year”.

“Pick 12 doesn’t have 70 games behind it,” he said.

“Charlie will help us next year… we want to get to last week of September again, Charlie will play 20-25 games for us and he’ll help us get there again.

“How we look at value for us is the next 12 months, not what the value is right now.”

But he didn’t rule out striking a deal with the Lions, noting: “Charlie’s a 70-game player and he’s got a good relationship with the club, the coach [so] we’ll work through the next week.”

“[But] unless we get something through the door, Charlie Cameron won’t be anywhere else but the Adelaide Footy Club next year,” he said.

Asked what the “something” would be to prise Cameron out of the last year of his contract with the Crows, Reid replied: “You’d have to ask Brisbane that, I guess.”

“You consider all options but at the end of the day he’s a contracted player and Charlie’s actually got a good relationship with the football club.”

Adelaide’s hardball public posturing on Cameron mirrors Carlton’s refusal to allow star SA midfielder Bryce Gibbs to break his contract to join the Crows last year.

While rumours of another push to lure Gibbs won’t go away, Carlton list manager Stephen Silvagni insisted today that “Bryce hasn’t come to us and asked to be traded”.

“We can’t lose another elite midfielder… he’s contracted for two years and that’s where it sits,” he said.

“We’re really happy to keep him.”

Essendon were happy today to tick off another trade target, signing Saad on a three-year deal, having traded a future second-round draft pick to the Suns.

The 23-year-old running defender had requested a return to Victoria to be closer to his family.

The Bombers will now turn their attention to sealing a deal for Stringer, who has nominated the club as his preferred home.

The Bulldogs placed the contracted Stringer on the trade table but have since dug their heels in, threatening to keep the 2015 All-Australian on their list unless they receive suitable compensation.

Tensions between the Stringer camp and the Bulldogs continue to grow, with Stringer’s father criticising the 2016 premiers for their treatment of the 23-year-old.

“He’s probably been through a little bit of a public stoning,” John Stringer told Trade Radio.

“From our perspective, we thought that he was contracted at the Dogs and he was going to stay there so for them to come out publicly and say ‘it’s time to move on’ is a little bit disappointing.”

Stringer’s agent Paul Connors confirmed that the Dogs had knocked back Essendon’s offer of a first-round draft selection early in the trade period.

The Bombers later dealt that pick to Greater Western Sydney in exchange for small forward Devon Smith.

Connors said it was clearly a negotiating tactic for the Bulldogs to suggest Stringer could remain on their list next year.

“They don’t want him, so why would they want to keep him?,” Connors said.

“You always get concerned because he’s contracted to the Western Bulldogs … but we’re hopeful the trade will get done.

“They can say that it was a mutual decision to explore options – I’d like to maybe challenge that because it wasn’t Jake’s (idea) to explore options.

“He wanted to stay.”

Essendon have two second-round selections at their disposal, which Connors said would be fair compensation for the Bulldogs.

Stringer has played 89 games at Whitten Oval, booting 160 goals.

-with AAP

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