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Sydney Swans CEO Tom Harley has responded to bombshell reports that Lance 'Buddy' Franklin wants to move to the Brisbane Lions, saying it's "news to me."
Channel 9 reported on Thursday night that Franklin wants to continue his career in Brisbane, with his nine-year contract at the Swans coming to an end this year.
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Nine News Queensland reporter Michael Atkinson said he “can confirm the Brisbane Lions are the frontrunner to be his club next year”.
“It’s my understanding that Franklin has informed the Swans that he won’t be playing in Sydney next year.
“Franklin and his wife Jesinta have a desire to move their family up to Queensland to be closer to family on the Gold Coast.
"But it’s not the Suns where he wants to keep playing, Buddy wants to win more premierships and he’s identified Brisbane as the club most likely to help him achieve that goal.”
Speaking off-air on 3AW radio on Thursday night, Harley reportedly said the development was "news to me".
During the on-air interview he said: “There’s nothing to announce, but there’s nothing untoward at the same time (on Franklin’s future).
“There’s no hurry from our point of view and no hurry from his point of view.
“Things are all tracking well at the moment.”
Franklin and the Swans are yet to come to an agreement on a new contract that would extend his time in Sydney into a 10th season.
The 35-year-old was reportedly insulted by a 'lowball' offer from the Swans last month, before wife Jesinta said they have 'options' if they want to leave Sydney.
“There’s always rumours and speculation swirling around 'Bud', and I think when he’s coming to the end of such an amazing contract, this was always going to happen,” she said on Channel 7.
“But I think they’re just that; they’re rumours and they’re speculation.
“We’re really happy in Sydney – at the moment – and we’ve got our life set up here, so we’ll just have to see what happens.
“I still feel like he’s got lots to give, and he still feels like he’s got great footy (left in him), and he feels so good.
“He keeps saying, ‘I feel like I’m 21,’ which is great. And the stats really show that as well.”
— Mark Gottlieb (@MarkGottlieb) August 4, 2022
Massive story this 👇🏻
What a coup it would be for the Lions if Buddy came to Brisbane.
Absolutely box office. https://t.co/MRzINsFjMq
— Michael Atkinson (@kinson88) August 4, 2022
lol Lol lol what a joke. They need defenders at the lions, not a 37 year old has been. Is this a way to get swans to offer more cash?
— JustyouraverageFantasy (@Justyou93469302) August 4, 2022
Wut? Really? We need a 2 way running mid, can he bring Chad Warner with him?
— David Morgan (@DavimorganDavid) August 4, 2022
Buddy Franklin to Brisbane next year. Wow.
— Carlton News & Stats (@UptheBaggers) August 4, 2022
Can’t believe Brisbane is going to lose McStay and get Buddy.
— Dan (@Danza109) August 4, 2022
they have enough talls wtf
— Magnooos_ (@Magnooos1) August 4, 2022
Sydney Swans confident of keeping Lance Franklin
Franklin is reportedly seeking a new deal worth $700,000 but was surprised when the Swans only offered him $500,000.
Harley previously said he is confident a new contract will be sorted.
"I sit very comfortable with the conversations that we are having with Lance and the privacy of those conservations," he said last month.
"We also understand at the same time that people will speculate, people will look to unearth stories out of information and I'm not overly concerned with how it (the story) came about.
"Lance is a unique figure and player in the game and with that the conversations are tailored towards that.
"Inappropriate and unfair to all parties involved to go into specifics.
"The conversations we're having with Lance are remaining respectful with significant amounts of goodwill, great intent.
"We think Lance has been an amazing contributor to the club, the code and has become iconically Sydney and part of the Sydney Swans family."
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