Josh Dunkley at centre of 'staggering' twist as AFL trade breaks down

Josh Dunkley could wind up in the pre-season draft after the Western Bulldogs and Brisbane Lions reached an impasse on a potential trade for the 25-year-old. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)
Josh Dunkley could wind up in the pre-season draft after the Western Bulldogs and Brisbane Lions reached an impasse on a potential trade for the 25-year-old. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

The Western Bulldogs are reportedly furious at the Brisbane Lions after their off-season manoeuvring putting a potential deal for Josh Dunkley in jeopardy.

Dunkley had requested a trade to the Lions at the end of the season, with Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge insisting Brisbane would have to 'pony up' in order to pry him from the club.

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The 2016 premiership player won the Bulldogs' best and fairest this season, with the Victorian club hoping to pick up two first round picks from the Lions in return.

A potential deal involving Brisbane's 2022 first rounder and another in 2023 looks to have fallen through though, after the Lions demanded the Bulldogs throw in two later selections this season, picks 30 and 39, as part of the deal.

Brisbane are at the centre of several key moves this trade period, as they look to secure forward Jack Gunston from Hawthorn, as well as hoping to have enough draft capital to match a bid for father-son selection Will Ashcroft, who is anticipated to be picked first overall.

The Bulldogs have reportedly been left 'irate' by the Lions' moves, having refused to budge on including the extra picks Brisbane had been after.

As a result, Brisbane traded their 2022 first rounder (pick 15), with AFL reporter Sam Edmund saying the Bulldogs felt they'd been 'taken for a ride' by the Lions.

Brisbane's next highest selection this season is pick 21, not enough to get the deal done.

“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,” Edmund wrote.

“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.

"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.”

With both sides seemingly at an impasse, Dunkley could find himself in the pre-season draft, where any of the 18 teams could pick him up for nothing.

Edmund said the Bulldogs were 'staggered' by how the situation had unfolded.

The Bulldogs are reportedly more than happy to retain the services of Dunkley should he fall to the pre-season draft.

Brisbane Lions busy in trade period as McStay moves to Collingwood

Meanwhile, Lions forward Daniel McStay's move to Collingwood is official with the Magpies snaring the unrestricted free agent.

McStay shifts to his home state of Victoria after nine AFL seasons in the Queensland capital.

In return for losing McStay, the Lions will receive a second-round draft selection as compensation, which currently stands at pick 35.

McStay kicked 138 goals for Brisbane in 161 games, and played in all three of the Lions' finals this year.

Collingwood football boss Graham Wright expressed his delight at securing the 27-year-old after GWS forward Bobby Hill signed on Monday.

Daniel McStay celebrates a goal with Charlie Cameron.
Brisbane's Daniel McStay has signed with Collingwood as a free agent, with the Lions getting back pick 35 in the upcoming AFL draft as compensation. (Photo by Chris Hyde/AFL Photos/via Getty Images )

"We identified we needed more key position support, and Daniel's attributes suit the way Craig (McRae) and our coaching group want to play," Wright said.

"He has the ability to play at both ends of the ground and he has been a more than adequate second ruck this year."

Another long-talked about move was confirmed on Tuesday with veteran defender Liam Jones returning to the Western Bulldogs on a three-year deal.

Jones makes his way back into the AFL system after sitting out the 2022 season due to the league's vaccination protocols.

The 31-year-old opted to retire from Carlton rather than receive the COVID-19 vaccination.

With AAP

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