Western Bulldogs CEO Ameet Bains is expecting Essendon to renew their interest in midfielder Josh Dunkley.
Dunkley requested a trade to the Bombers at the end of last season, but ultimately remained at Whitten Oval with the two clubs failing to come to an agreement on a deal.
The 24-year-old has put his failed move to Essendon behind him, averaging 28.8 disposals and 4.8 clearances with the Dogs sitting top of the ladder with a 4-0 record.
Bains was asked whether he expects the Bombers to come back for Dunkley at season’s end.
“Absolutely, and potentially other clubs too,” he told SEN Mornings.
“I think from Essendon’s point of view, they were able to get Josh to want to come and play for their football club, and obviously it didn’t come to fruition.
“We expect them to come again, whether or not they do is their prerogative.”
Bains insists the Bulldogs have no intention of trading Dunkley who still has another year to run on his current contract.
“Josh is contracted until the end of 2022 and we were really adamant that we didn’t want to lose him for so many reasons,” he said.
“Again, while it’s only a small sample size at the start of this year, I think it shows how valuable he is to us as a footy club – both on-field and as a person.
“We won’t be letting him walk out the door at the end of this year. We don’t think that he’s in that frame of mind in any event.
“He and Adam (Treloar) have become particularly close but he’s got many, many close mates at the footy club, including the captain himself (Marcus Bontempelli).
“Hopefully last year was a bit of a blip and Josh enjoys a long, productive and successful career at the Bulldogs.”
Essendon’s final offer of pick No.7 and a future second-round selection for Dunkley was not enough to appease the Bulldogs.