Suns found out about Pie-Lynch meeting on TV
GOLD Coast hasn't ruled out trading Tom Lynch in a Patrick Dangerfield-style scenario after he confirmed he would return to Melbourne.
The worst-kept secret in football came official when Lynch yesterday told Gold Coast officials in person, who immediately stripped him of the captaincy.
Suns chief executive Mark Evans confirmed the Gold Coast had been given a strong indication three weeks ago he would leave.
But Evans said last night they did not know he had met with Collingwood until Nathan Buckley's comments last week.
Lynch now has 10 weeks to consider his destination, but it is understood getting to Collingwood has real appeal for the Suns forward.
He believes he has a chance to build alongside a young side, while Richmond could conceivably have won two premierships by October.
A $1 million-per-season contract of up to seven seasons could be heavily back-ended, as reported in the Herald Sun this week.
He has been paid $1 million a year at the Suns, so could accept $500,000 a season in his first two years then more when cap space becomes available.
Still, it is impossible to declare any club a firm favourite given he has so much time in which circumstances can change.
Lynch cannot make a firm decision on his future until October, when he will accept a contract from either Richmond, Collingwood or Hawthorn.
If the Suns fail to match a bid they will likely get pick three as free agency compensation, but could also trade him before an official free agency offer.
Geelong handed over picks nine, 28 and Dean Gore to get Patrick Dangerfield to Adelaide despite his free agency status and he has been a brilliant performer.
Asked on Macquarie Sports Radio last night if a trade for Lynch was a possibility, Evans said: "All options are open to us."
"There is a lot to play out over the next 10 or 11 weeks."
A trade might secure the Suns a better deal if they threatened to match a bid for him then used the leverage of sending him into the draft to call the bluff of an interested party
It is understood Collingwood list manager Ned Guy's trip to the Mornington Peninsula on Monday was about Nathan Buckley's Footy Classified comments.
He wanted to clarify the motivation behind them after it was seen to heap more pressure on Lynch, recovering from a PCL reconstruction.
Lynch has been told he will not be part of the club's football activities for the rest of the year, but can use the club's gym if he desires.
The Suns seem likely to ask for extra draft picks, potentially in the form of a priority pick, and must resolve the future of co-captain Steven May.
They already have West Coast's first-round pick after a trade next year so could end up with a long list of first-round selections.
If they traded May for a first-rounder, got a priority pick and a compensation pick they could secure six picks within the first 22 selections.
Evans made clear the club had to strip Lynch of the captaincy, even though it was the club demanding an early answer.
"We've been in constant dialogue with Tom and his management throughout the year, early last month we had indications that the decision was heading this way and we asked Tom to give us a decision when he returned to the club," Evans said.
"Importantly for us we still have four matches to play this season and our focus is on continuing to build an environment and game plan that will set us up for future growth."
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