Adelaide have opened discussions with free agent Rory Sloane and are hopeful they can secure the 27-year-old’s signature without the discussion on his future causing too much distraction.
Chairman Rob Chapman concedes there is no guarantee the star midfielder will remain at the club but says the Crows will do everything possible to retain him.
“We acknowledge that’s going to be a big deal. But I can’t sit here and say, ‘Is he going to stay?’ or, ‘Is he going to go?’ or, ‘What’s the probability of him staying?”‘ Chapman told SEN. “All I can say is we’re going to be putting our best foot forward to give him the opportunity to sign with us.
“I’ve seen no reason to suggest he won’t. But he’s got a year to run on his contract.”
Sloane has played 165 games in his nine seasons with the Crows and his future – along with that of Gold Coast’s Tom Lynch and West Coast’s Andrew Gaff – will be one of the big talking points in 2018.
Crows coach Don Pyke, who this week extended his time at the club until the end of 2021, said he is confident Sloane will perform well even if negotiations continue throughout the season.
He also said experience was helping the club manage such negotiations.
“We continue to learn in the list management space about how to manage individuals and each individual negotiation is different, so we have to respect that,” Pyke said.
It’s estimated Sloane would be valued at about $1 million a season, while Lynch could be expected to attract offers of at least $1.5 million a season to switch clubs.
Sloane, who grew up in Victoria, is a dual best and fairest winner at the Crows. Adelaide lost superstar Patrick Dangerfield to free agency at the end of 2015 and suffered a double blow at the end of last season when Jake Lever and Charlie Cameron requested trades.