Chris Tarrant’s bid to rejoin Pies
Chris Tarrant has declared Collingwood his preferred club, but that does not mean a romantic return will come easily.
At least three clubs are after his services in an intense race for the veteran defender just six days out from trade week.
Such interest means Fremantle, which has lost the defender after four years because of business and family reasons, is likely to play hardball.
The Dockers will be particular in their needs. In return. they will want a player to fit their list model.
If the Magpies can not satisfy the Dockers, they will be comfortable enough to allow him to nominate for the national or pre-season drafts and lose him for nothing.
It may take a three-way deal to get Tarrant to Collingwood if the Pies can not come up with enough to satisfy the Dockers.
The scenario looms as similar to Luke Ball last year, when the Saints refused to budge and forced the midfielder into the draft. Ball landed at Collingwood, his preferred new home, but he was at risk of being picked up by another club.
With Hawthorn and Carlton showing more than a passing interest in Tarrant, surely he would not slip through to the Pies.
The Hawks and Blues have been told Tarrant wants to return to Collingwood.
Tarrant, 30, believes he can play for another three years and wants to join a club in the premiership window.
The Pies are warming to the idea, but their liking for Tarrant will intensify if they lose the Grand Final replay.
Leon Davis has been touted as a possible trade.
The grand final draw has only slowed the Tarrant process, with Collingwood unable to enter into any meaningful talks until after Saturday’s re-match.
It is understood Fremantle would prefer a player to a pick, but the Dockers want something to suit their needs – not just a throw-away veteran or fringe player.s
Hawthorn has money and the inclination to lure a key defender after Campbell Brown’s move to the Gold Coast, but is aware he wants to become a Pie again.
That means they will sit tight until the official start of trade week next Monday to see if they can swoop with an exciting deal.
St Kilda is also interested, but it is believed their tight salary cap means they lag behind the other suitors in the race for Tarrant.