Fremantle has launched an audacious last-ditch bid to keep Chris Tarrant by offering to let him live in Melbourne next year but continue to play for the Dockers.

It is understood Tarrant’s wife, Lauren, has already begun the process of the couple’s relocation back to Melbourne.

But Dockers CEO Steve Rosich yesterday denied the club was resigned to losing the key defender and confirmed an offer to Tarrant to play on a long-distance basis.

It is believed he would be allowed to live with his wife in Melbourne until the Tuesday following away games, before rejoining his teammates in Perth to prepare for the following week’s home clash.

Tarrant has also been offered an extended off-season as an additional sweetener.

“We’ve had discussions with Chris about a flexible arrangement for next season, including a delayed start to pre-season training and more flexibility with respect to time spent in Melbourne,” Rosich said.

“When you’re dealing with a mature and experienced player I think it allows you to have those discussions.

“We’re comfortable Chris has enjoyed playing with the Fremantle Football Club and we remain hopeful that we can work things through to see him playing beyond this season.”

Tarrant, who turns 30 in a fortnight, requested a trade back to Victoria last season, but the Dockers refused to let go of the former Collingwood player after his successful switch to defence.

He is now out of contract and Fremantle risks losing him for nothing. Hawthorn is understood to be the Victorian club most interested in his services for next season.

The Dockers’ long-distance offer to Tarrant echoes the arrangement granted to former captain Peter Bell, who moved to Geraldton for work reasons.

Bell commuted from Geraldton for the early part of the 2008 season after the club had granted him the arrangement as he was considering retirement following the ’07 season.

The Dockers announced the re-signing of eight players on Thursday as a morale booster ahead of yesterday’s elimination final, but key uncontracted trio Tarrant, skipper Matthew Pavlich and star midfielder David Mundy were not among them.

Pavlich has traditionally left his contracts until post-season, but new club Gold Coast has become increasingly confident of luring him with a multimillion dollar offer.

Mundy, a 25-year-old Victorian, would also be a prized addition for a host of rivals who are keen on him after his best season that has been rewarded with selection in a preliminary 40-man squad from which the All-Australian team will be named.

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