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Bulldogs willing to walk Dunkley into the open market as Brisbane talks stall


Josh Dunkley’s move to the Brisbane Lions is on life support less than a week out from the end of the trade period.

It can be revealed the Western Bulldogs are prepared to let Dunkley go through to the pre-season draft, such is their frustration over a lack of progress with the Lions on a suitable deal.

There had been discussions around Brisbane offering pick 15 and a future first round pick. The Lions will finish at the pointy end next year too mind you. The Bulldogs weren’t thrilled with that.

But the Dogs are aware the Lions don’t have access to more than that and what you’ve got is what you’ve got. It’s not ideal for the Dogs, but let’s move on.

The Lions also wanted the Dogs’ two second-round picks back (30 and 39). It came with a massive cost back the other way. Plus a future third.

The Dogs were staggered. The Lions said if you don’t take it we will trade 15 out.

The Dogs point to Tim Taranto as the example. Taranto was traded to Richmond for 12 and 19. They think Dunkley is worth at least that, worth even slightly more given what he’s achieved to date.

But the Lions said no. They need the points to be able to select Will Ashcroft and Jaspa Fletcher in the draft.

The Lions are in a delicate position and opted to trade out pick 15.

And we are back to square one here on this and some frustration is attached.

Two first-round picks, even reasonably late, gets it done for the Dogs. Depending on how close the Lions can claw 21 back to 15, but the Dogs aren’t going to give anything back.

The Lions said, ‘We’re giving you what you want’, and the Dogs are obviously saying, ‘No you’re not’.

The Lions might try and nudge 21 up a bit, but the Dogs feel they’re being taken for a ride. And Brisbane think they will fold.

The Dogs last night sat down and are now committed to getting nothing in return if it gets to that. Dunkley would go into the open market.

“It’s very real” – a Dogs source said.

That stance is part principle and part anger of the fact Brisbane haven’t come close to being reasonable with this in their mind.

If he slides through he’ll be open to the market, but the Dogs haven’t given up hope of taking him back. They’re more than happy to call his name out if he wants to come back.

There are a few days to go and some water to go under the bridge, but the Lions wanting their cake and to eat it too has made this trade enormously difficult.

The Dogs are irritated that the Lions knew all year these kids were coming through and they haven’t adequately prepared for that and yet have committed to Dunkley.

The Dogs are happy to make hay with what the Lions have – or had – in terms of first-rounders, but the massive caveat of wanting second-rounders back has this deal up on blocks right now.

Albeit, there remains time for the two parties to sort out the deal.

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