There’s “every chance” Orazio Fantasia leaves Essendon at the end of the 2020 season, according to AFL Media’s Marc McGowan.
Fantasia’s much-publicised trade request to Port Adelaide didn’t come to fruition after the small forward backflipped at the last minute and opted to stay at the Bombers.
McGowan, who broke the original story of Fantasia’s desire to eventually head home to South Australia, told The Captain’s Run he still believed a move away from Essendon was still in play in the coming years.
“He ended up switching his manager to Michael Doughty who is a South Australian but that was quite late in the piece,” he said.
“These type of (contract negotiations) are quite complicated because he still had two years to run on his contract, so a trade had to be negotiated.
“There’s also the matter of Orazio’s contract, this is the one that played a big role I believe.
“He was on quite big money last year and in his case, he earned quite a lot of money last year. He earns quite a lot less this year and then it bumps up again for the final year of his contract next year.
“Whether that tips him into restricted free agency, a lot of clubs are keen to have that assurance in place. There are all sorts of hurdles that played a role in (him eventually staying at Essendon last year).
“The fact that Orazio is now in that pre-agent stage – as is becoming a popular term in AFL circles – and the fact he’ll be on the more money, I think there’s every chance (the trade) goes ahead this year but there’s so much water to go under the bridge on this one.
McGowan was left in no doubt that the 24-year-old wouldn’t end his career at Essendon, even if he remains at the club until the end of 2021 when his current contract ends.
“Orazio has obviously come off hip surgery in the off-season, he’ll be keen to have a much better year on the field and for all you know, he falls back in love with Essendon and everything goes great and he wants to hang around,” he said.
“The Dons might have great success this year, who knows. But there’s no doubt in my mind that he’ll finish his career back in South Australia and whether it happens this year or next, I think we’re going to see this happen.”
You can listen to Marc McGowan's chat on The Captain's Run in the player below