Fremantle’s contract talks with young midfielder Rhys Palmer are on hold until the end of the season as speculation about the 2008 Rising Star winner’s future continues to dog both he and the Dockers.

Fresh rumours linking Palmer to Greater Western Sydney circulated yesterday in the wake of explosive revelations of a massive offer to Melbourne midfielder Tom Scully.

Scully’s management have confirmed the offer, increasing the chances that the second-year Melbourne midfielder could quit the club that invested the No.1 draft pick on him in 2009 with much fanfare.

Velocity Sports Management wouldn’t confirm the size of the Scully offer but media speculation has his proposed pay packet at somewhere between $800,000 and $1 million per year.

AFL football operations boss Adrian Anderson confirmed last night that the Demons would be entitled to Gary Ablett-level compensation (two first-round draft picks to be used in any draft over the next five years) if Scully headed north.

Palmer’s name was again dragged into speculation when GWS chief executive Dale Holmes said the Giants’ recruiting campaign was progressing along similar lines to Gold Coast’s last year and those negotiations were well advanced with up to four players.

The Suns recruitment of Ablett, Campbell Brown, Jarrod Harbrow and Nathan Krakouer turned out to be last year’s worst kept secrets.

Scully, Western Bulldog Callan Ward, Adelaide’s Taylor Walker, Port Adelaide’s Alipate Carlile and Palmer are the names most regularly linked to GWS this year.

The Bulldogs are understood to be fighting a strong rearguard action to keep Ward, while Walker remains a strong chance to leave Adelaide but not necessarily to go to GWS.

Holmes would not name specific targets but said: “We have certainly been active in the window before Christmas last year as part of the rules that were established by the clubs.”

Palmer’s manager Colin Young confirmed that talks with the Dockers were now likely to be held over until after the season.

Young and Fremantle put talks on hold for up to two months in early June, wanting a clearer picture of where Palmer sat in the club’s midfield pecking order before proceeding further. Palmer was out of favour earlier in the season and was also used regularly as a substitute.

But he has played 11 of the Dockers’ 14 games, the past two matches as a tagger, performing exceptionally well against Brisbane’s Luke Power before having his hands full with Gold Coast superstar Ablett in Fremantle’s last game.

Fremantle coach Mark Harvey told Seven News last night that massive offers placed added pressure on salary caps of clubs and that the Dockers were uncertain on whether Palmer had been targeted by the Giants for 2012 and beyond.Source Link

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