MELBOURNE yesterday completed a medical on Ben Brown as it cements pole position to snare the discarded North Melbourne spearhead.
The Demons signalled their interest in Brown shortly after their season finished and the club’s list management team have ramped up their interest in Brown in recent weeks.
Conversations between Melbourne and Brown have progressed and Brown was yesterday examined by Dees medicos.
While all signs point to Brown pulling on a Melbourne jumper for 2021, the key forward has not yet told coach Simon Goodwin that he wants to play for his side. Brown is out of contract, but not a free agent. It’s understood the Kangaroos will ask for Melbourne’s second-round pick – No.23 – in a deal.
Brown, 27, kicked 188 goals between 2017-2019, but endured a wretched 2020 season. He was presented early in the year with a three-year contract worth close to $850,000, which would have maintained his status as North Melbourne’s highest-paid player.
But his management hesitated before the AFL put a freeze on all new contracts as a result of COVID-19.
Brown then struggled badly to find form in an injury-hit side on the slide, before a knee injury and subsequent surgery kept him sidelined after Round 10. He kicked eight goals in nine games.
Brown’s spectacular fall from grace was confirmed in September when North Melbourne encouraged him to look for a new club.
His likely arrival at Melbourne puts renewed doubt on the future of Demons forward Tom McDonald.
The Demons are open to trading McDonald, but are aware the two years remaining on a healthy contract mean he is a realistic chance to stay and commit to a rigorous off-season that would see him lose weight and regain the mobility that made him a 53-goal forward in 2018.
However, it can be revealed GWS have shown some interest in luring McDonald to Sydney.
The Giants were gutted to learn that restricted free agent Jeremy Cameron wants to join Geelong, but have moved quickly to soften the blow of his departure by reaching out to McDonald.
TRADE RADIO RETURNS MONDAY 7AM ON AFL.COM.AU AND THE AFL APP