Buddy Franklin is reportedly edging closer to a deal to remain at the Sydney Swans as rumours swirl over his future in the AFL.
Channel 9 reported on Thursday Franklin was set to turn his back on Sydney for a deal with the Brisbane Lions.
The report said the Lions and Franklin’s management have already entered into preliminary discussions.
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It was immediately countered by Swans CEO Tom Harley who said the report linking Sydney’s star forward to Brisbane was “news to him”.
“There’s nothing to announce, but there’s nothing untoward at the same time (on Franklin’s future),” Harley told 3AW.
“There’s no hurry from our point of view and no hurry from his point of view.
“Things are all tracking well at the moment.”
Brisbane coach Chris Fagan said on Friday the Lions would be open to having a chat with Franklin if he was indeed considering moving north to continue his career.
But sports broadcaster Andy Maher said on Friday he has been told Franklin will stay with the Swans and is simply firming up the details around a contract extension.
“I can’t say where it came from, but Franklin’s not going to Brisbane,” Maher said on his SEN radio show.
“He’s not going, he’s going to stay at Sydney and they’re in the throws of working out the contract, so it does sound like he’s going to play another year at the Swans if this information is true and where it’s coming from is pretty strong.
“They’re arguing whether the last $100,000 is marketing money or how it fits in, how they can use what they have available to them within the rules of the game to satisfy what is right for Franklin to receive.
“They’re right at the very end and the edges of just tidying up the contract for next year.”
The conflicting reports come as former Hawthorn forward Ben Dixon argued Franklin has more chance of “playing on the moon than Victoria” next year, with Brisbane the perfect fit.
“I reckon there’s some real merit in (rumours of the Brisbane move),” Dixon told Fox Footy.
“My gut feel is yes (he’ll leave Sydney).
“He’s more chance of playing on the moon than in Victoria.
“Going for one more tilt, going to a different club, it’s not going to tarnish anything about your reputation in the game.
“He’s only going to go north.
“He’s a Perth boy, but you can rule out those two clubs (Fremantle and West Coast). You can rule out the Giants. It’s a process of elimination – the Gold Coast or it’s Brisbane.
“Brisbane’s right in the wheelhouse to win it. If it’s not this year, they have still got a little tilt next year.
“I know his motivation in signing a long-term deal with Sydney was sustainable success.
“I think his drive and his motivation – he wants to win a flag.
“He could be the hottest property in Queensland.
“If you look at it and you say: ‘Who’s closer to the flag (Gold Coast or Brisbane)?’ Well, there’s no doubt Brisbane are.”
Franklin and his wife Jesinta have made plenty of headlines in recent months after the bombshell news the 35-year-old believed the Swans were lowballing him.
Franklin joined the Swans from Hawthorn in 2014 on a nine-year $10 million deal but the star forward was looking for $700,000 per season.
While Franklin has been injury prone in recent years, the scenes of fans flooding onto the SCG when he kicked his 1000th career goal earlier this year showed he is still one of the sport’s biggest drawcards.
But reports of a move out of Sydney dominated headlines in early July and Jesinta told Channel 7’s The Morning Show “we’ve got options” when questioned about the speculation.