ESSENDON has told Josh Dunkley it will re-draft his delisted brother Kyle as the sweetener to a blockbuster contract to lure him to Tullamarine.
The Bombers’ bold raid on the Western Bulldogs’ contracted star has been franked by a lucrative contract said to be worth around $650-700k a season for 4-5 years.
But the potential lifeline for younger brother Kyle, delisted last month by Melbourne, has also gone into a package that is tempting Josh, the Dogs’ 24-year-old premiership midfielder.
Josh and Kyle are the sons of former Sydney full-back Andrew Dunkley – and with professional netball sister Lara and mum Lisa – are a very tight-knit family.
Dunkley has not put in a trade request, but even if he does, the Bulldogs will refuse to deal a best-22 player who still has two years to run on a three-year contract signed only half-way through last season.
The Bombers’ approach is understood to have surprised the Dogs, but the club will have no hesitation blocking any forthcoming trade and are supremely confident Dunkley is not the sort of character to disrupt the playing group if he is made to stay and that he will knuckle back down for 2021.
Dunkley had an excellent 2019 campaign, finishing runner-up in the Dogs’ best and fairest, but a syndesmosis injury in June derailed his 2020 season.
Tom Liberatore’s re-emergence saw Dunkley shuffled down the midfielder order a bit and he was even asked to play ruck on occasion.
However, he is said not to be disgruntled at the Whitten Oval, where he is close mates with captain Marcus Bontempelli and certain to thrive again if he gets a clean run at next season.