AFL trade wrap: Brad Crouch to stay at the Crows for now, Freo left shocked by Saints pick swap

Welcome to the 2019 AFL trade period.

More dominoes fell on Thursday, with Orazio Fantasia making a call on his future and a St Kilda pick swap that has changed things dramatically for Fremantle.

Here’s what happened on day four.

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CROUCH STAYING… FOR NOW

Adelaide looks set to keep Brad Crouch for 2020 despite his management chasing a multi-million dollar new deal, reports the Herald Sun.

The midfielder has gained interest from Geelong and Gold Coast but will be a restricted free agent at the end of next year and it appears clubs will wait for the end of next season to lure him.

It’s believed the Cats made an offer of around $800,000 a season for Crouch.

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SAINTS CALL DOCKERS BLUFF

St Kilda’s seemingly regulation pick swap with GWS has far greater implications than what first meets the eye.

By taking Pick 6 off the table, the Saints effectively called Freamantle’s bluff, less than an hour after the Dockers asked for two first-round selections in exchange for Brad Hill.

But the Saints have other players to bring in and now it will be up to Peter Bell and Freo to find a way forward. MORE HERE

BOMBER BACKFLIP

Essendon forward Orazio Fantasia will be part of John Worsfold’s team in 2020.

Despite recently signing with South Australian based manager Michael Doughty, Fantasia will stay put in Victoria.

Port Adelaide were understood to be interested in the 23-year-old, if he had elected to seek a trade.

The Power are aware of his decision to stay. MORE HERE

CROUCH’S MILLION-DOLLAR DEMAND

Crows’ best-and-fairest Brad Couch wants to extract gold from his best-ever season by demanding $1 million-plus a year.

Crouch is on the radar of the Gold Coast Suns and St Kilda, with The Age’s Sam McClure reporting he’s priced himself out of a move to Carlton.

FREO UPS THE PRICE FOR HILL

If you want Bradley Hill, it’ll cost you two first round picks. That’s the message Fremantle is now sending St Kilda.

AFL Media is reporting that the Dockers now want the Saints’ 2020 first-rounder on top of this year’s No.6 overall selection.

PICK SWAP BETWEEN GIANTS AND SAINTS

GWS gets Picks 6 & 59 while St Kilda receives Picks 12 & 18.

This could allow the Giants to skip ahead on a bid for Academy prospect Tom Green.

The Saints’ picks could help them negotiate a deal for Fremantle’s Brad Hill.

VETERAN HAWK TO JOIN LIONS

Brisbane has signed Hawthorn veteran Grant Birchall to a one-year deal for the 2020 season.

The free agent leaves the Hawks after 248 games and won four premierships with the club over his 14 year stint.

Birchall has followed in the footsteps of Luke Hodge, who also made the move north two years ago. MORE HERE

CARLTON TO TRADE TOP 10 PICK FOR SYDNEY FORWARD

Carlton will give up Pick 9 for Sydney forward Tom Papley, according to AFL Media’s Damian Barrett.

This means that Sydney will end up with Picks 5 and 9, with Barrett suggesting that the Bombers should ask for both picks in exchange for Joe Daniher.

ST KILDA EYEING TRADE BONANZA

The Saints are firming as the most active club this trade period, with Port Adelaide swingman Dougal Howard nominating the club as his preferred destination.

North Melbourne had been the front runner to secure Howard’s services, but St Kilda is now in the box seat to land the key position player.

“Dougal is aware that he is a highly valued, required player at Port Adelaide,” Port Adelaide general manager of football Chris Davies said.

“Given he is contracted to the end of 2022, the club will only entertain a trade with St Kilda if it is in our best interests to do so.

“We will discuss the situation with the Saints but if a suitable outcome for our club cannot be reached, Dougal is well aware that he will remain a Port Adelaide player in 2020.”

While no player has joined the Saints during this trade period, a plethora of stars have been linked to the club.

Fremantle wingman Bradley Hill and Port Adelaide ruckman Paddy Ryder have both requested trades to Moorabbin, while Sydney midfielder Zak Jones has also nominated St Kilda.

Saints footy boss Simon Lethlean flagged the club’s interest in securing Howard early in the trade period.

“If Dougal wants to come to the Saints, he fits in as a key position (player) — whether that’s back or forward,” Lethlean said on Monday.

“He can probably play as a swingman as well, so he’d fit nicely with (Jake) Carlisle, (Max) King and others. He’s a pretty impressive player and kid.

“He’s captained his club this year (in one game), so it shows the leadership he’s got. He’d be a good get if he wants to come to Victoria, but I don’t think he’s decided yet.”

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