Gary Ablett of the Suns is hoping to move back to Geelong.
Gary Ablett of the Suns is hoping to move back to Geelong. Jason O'Brien/AFL Media

Ablett will walk if Suns deny trade, says Darcy

LUKE Darcy expects Gary Ablett to drop a retirement bombshell if he can't secure a trade to Geelong at season's end.

Cats fans want to show their support for Ablett's move home by driving with their headlights on before their final-round clash against Greater Western Sydney on Saturday night.

Collingwood president Eddie McGuire says the Cats are looking for a "bargain basement" deal on Ablett and were "notorious" for trying to minimise their outgoings at trade time.

But Darcy said Ablett would walk away from the game if he was kept against his wishes at the Gold Coast for another season, even though he is contracted there until the end of 2018.

"The Cats are up to their eyeballs in trying to do this (deal)," Darcy said on Triple M.

"They're playing the game, but behind the scenes everything that can be done to make this happen is currently being done.

"And I think Gary Ablett will walk away and not play again if they (the Cats and Suns) don't make it happen."

The champion midfielder is considered one of the greatest players in the game's history, with two Brownlow Medals, two premierships, eight All-Australian medals, five club best and fairests and five league MVP awards.

But he has not played a single final or Friday night game in his seven seasons at the Suns and wants to come home to Geelong, where he was drafted father-son in 2001.

 

Gary Ablett of the Suns (centre) is pursued by Anthony Miles (left) and Dylan Grimes of the Tigers.
Gary Ablett of the Suns (centre) is pursued by Anthony Miles (left) and Dylan Grimes of the Tigers. JULIAN SMITH

The Gold Coast is also at risk of losing superstar forward Tom Lynch at the end of next season under free agency rules, with clubs including Collingwood already queuing up to land the goal kicker.

McGuire said the Suns wanted something back from their big-money investment in Ablett.

He was re-signed two years ago for about $1 million a season.

McGuire said the salary cap room would also help Gold Coast attract some replacement top-line talent at trade time if they could be proactive about the situation.

"The fly in the ointment in this deal as far as I can see is that Gold Coast has paid a fair bit of his money upfront (in the first year of his contract)," McGuire said.

"So they're saying, 'It's all very well, but we've paid you upfront, how do we get some of that back?'

"So the only way they can do that, the only currency, is to get some players or picks out of Geelong, who are notoriously not that keen on giving those things up.

"The Cats are obviously looking for a bargain basement (deal).

"They're saying, 'There's no love up there, you want to get him out.'

"So you (Suns) want to save on the salary cap so you can keep the players you've got and maybe get (back) into the market."

News Corp Australia

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