Sydney Swans respond after bombshell Buddy Franklin reports

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·Sports Reporter
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Buddy Franklin is pictured marking the ball against the Western Bulldogs.
Buddy Franklin was reportedly 'lowballed' by the Swans on an AFL contract extension, leaving the star forward unhappy. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

The Sydney Swans say they are more than happy with where they stand in regards to Buddy Franklin's soon to expire contract, with the superstar reportedly 'unhappy' with his new offer.

Franklin joined the Swans on a monster and controversial nine-year contract prior to the 2014 season, with the 35-year-old forward considering a potential move to a third club should talks with the Swans break down.

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The Herald Sun initially reported Franklin was unhappy about being 'lowballed', to the point where he was also considering retiring from the sport if he didn't find a suitable new club.

The former Hawthorn champion is reportedly chasing a one-year extension worth roughly $700,000 - with the Swans reportedly countering with a deal for roughly $500,000.

Franklin's potential deal has also generated interest in conjunction with suspicions Richmond star Dustin Martin could be bound for Sydney at the end of the season, with the Swans listed as a potential destination.

Martin remains under contract with the Tigers for a further two seasons however, prompting a somewhat irritated Swans chief executive Tom Harley to set the record straight about the club's dealings.

Harley said the club was comfortable with their position with Franklin, and said it would be inappropriate for him to discuss Martin while he remained under contract mid-season.

"There's absolutely no link between these two stories, these two players," Harley told SEN on Thursday.

"We have had no contact, nor conversations with Dustin Martin, he's not our player and it would be inappropriate for us to do that.

"I am a little bewildered by how the story around Dustin keeps resurfacing and resurfacing with a strong connection to the Swans.

"I sit very comfortable with the conversations that we are having with Lance and the privacy of those conservations.

"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."

Dustin Martin, pictured here in action for Richmond against the West Coast Eagles.
Dustin Martin in action for Richmond against the West Coast Eagles. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)

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Despite his frustration, Harley acknowledged the massive interest the future of a player of Franklin's calibre carried among fans of the league.

He said it would be unfair on both Franklin and the club to go into much detail about their contract negotiations.

"Lance is a unique figure and player in the game and with that the conversations are tailored towards that," Harley said.

"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."

Lance Franklin gestures towards teammates during an AFL game.
The Sydney Swans are confident in their negotiations with Buddy Franklin, despite a report claiming the 35-year-old was 'unhappy' about their latest offer. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Richmond coach Damien Hardwick has previously said Martin would be free to leave Punt Rd with his "blessing" and on Thursday was again asked about the triple Norm Smith medallist's future.

"(Martin) knows our thoughts, Richmond player for two more years," Hardwick said.

"That's our method of operation at this stage and that won't change in the short term, or long term hopefully."

The 35-year-old is determined to continue in the AFL beyond this year and would consider moving to a third club if talks between him and the Swans broke down.

In March, Franklin became the sixth VFL/AFL player to kick 1000 career goals amid iconic scenes at the SCG after he reached the milestone.

Franklin has played 332 AFL games ahead of the Swans' crunch clash with Fremantle at Optus Stadium on Saturday night.

With AAP

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