Hawthorn open talks with Chris Tarrant about move
Hawthorn intend to open discussions with Chris Tarrant once Fremantle’s season concludes, by which time the futures of Campbell Brown and Michael Osborne are likely to be known.
It is understood Hawthorn formally contacted Tarrant’s manager, Paul Connors, last week to register interest in the 29-year-old Fremantle defender, who intends to return to Melbourne in the off-season.
The Hawks, who have not been able to replace Trent Croad in defence since his career ended in the 2008 grand final, have been smitten by Tarrant’s last 18 months in defence for the Dockers.
Their interest is shared by Carlton and St Kilda.
Moreover, Tarrant has not dismissed the possibility of a return to Collingwood, where he played the first 161 of his 233 matches.
The Hawks told Connors that they are keen to meet Tarrant but would not attempt to do so until the Dockers’ finals campaign comes to an end, which could be as early as this Friday night’s semi-final against Geelong at the MCG.
Hawthorn traded last year, bringing in Shaun Burgoyne, Josh Gibson and Rhan Hooper, a move which pushed the club close to the salary cap and means that departures may be necessary to accommodate Tarrant on even a modest AFL wage in the realm of $250,000 a season.
However, if as expected Brown accepts a lucrative offer from Gold Coast Suns, believed to be as much as $1.5 million over three seasons, some, if not all, of the room required for Tarrant will open up.
Should more be needed, strong speculation has Osborne heading to the Suns as well, possibly as a draftee.
Like Brown, Osborne was a member of the 2008 premiership side and is out of contract. At 28, his future with the Hawks beyond the next 12 months is not certain and he hails from Queensland.
The Dockers have said they want to keep Tarrant but have acknowledged that for personal reasons he is keen to return to Victoria. This time last year, when about to get married but still under contract for another season, the former Magpie explored the possibilities of going back east.