The future of Collingwood premiership defender Alan Toovey is up in the air with the Magpies and his management team at loggerheads over a new deal.

And it is understood Toovey would be open to a possible return to Western Australia.

There is speculation the Magpies won’t be able to fit the 24-year-old West Australian and his increased money demands under the salary cap and they could seek to offload him during next week’s exchange period.

Toovey’s two-year contract with the club expires at the end of the month and if he can’t find a new home during trade week, he will nominate himself for the draft.

The Albany-raised player has become a key component of Collingwood’s solid backline and prior to this year, had missed only one game in the previous two seasons.

In 2010 he averaged five tackles a game and would have earned the respect of former coach Mick Malthouse for finishing fifth at the club for one-percenters.

Now, Toovey’s management company SportsMA is seeking more money along with a new two-year deal from the Magpies but it is yet to hear anything back from the club’s football manager, Geoff Walsh.

However, the salary cap looms as a potential stumbling block and Toovey’s camp acknowledges this.

“He deserves more than what he’s getting paid,” a source close to negotiations told PerthNow. “If Collingwood haven’t got that coin in the jar, then how are they going to fit him in?”

It is believed Toovey would be open to a move back to WA but his priority is to remain in Victoria.

SportsMA would not offer any possible destinations but it appeared Toovey would be happy to play anywhere.

“As Alan has said, ‘he’s employed to play football and where he plays it doesn’t bother him as long as he’s getting paid, that’s his job,” they said.

The ex-Claremont player was picked up by the Pies in the 2006 rookie draft and his no-frills style of play, improving disposal rate as well as his appetite for the contest has won him plenty of admirers over the past five seasons.

His courageousness was on show in the Round 8 loss to Geelong when he ran back with the flight of the ball and collided into Geelong forward Tom Hawkins at the MCG.

He suffered a bruised lung and missed the next game with Adelaide before resuming the following week against West Coast.

Later, a broken finger kept him out of four games in the second half of the season but he featured from Round 22 onwards and made his second straight grand final appearance last weekend.

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