Melbourne great Garry Lyon has expressed his concerns over reports Clayton Oliver could be traded, saying he's "horrified at the thought". The Demons are reportedly "open" to trading Oliver, despite having seven years remaining on his contract, but they aren't necessarily desperate to move him on.
A number of clubs have enquired about acquiring the 26-year-old from the Demons, who haven't said he's off the table. According to Tom Morris of SEN: "The Demons will not allow their gun on-baller to leave for anything less than what they believe he is worth, given he is contracted until the end of 2030."
'DISRESPECTED': Key detail called out after Collingwood's triumph
'DID IT ON PURPOSE': Debate erupts after Collingwood act comes to light
Discussing the situation on Wednesday, club great Lyon said: “I’m horrified at the prospect. He’s one of my all-time favourites. I’m horrified at the prospect at the thought that this (could happen).”
SEN co-host Tim Watson added: “Could the thinking be around the fact be that we’ve got a depth of midfielders, we’ve got some other young players that we would like to play, Clayton Oliver is there, we need something that we currently don’t have which is a forward? We need a potential key forward, do you think that could be in Melbourne’s thinking?"
Lyon replied: “No. That would be the thinking if in fact it gets to that point. If it gets to that stage (that Oliver does want to leave), then you go, ‘Ok, what do we need if this was to happen?’.
“He’s contracted of course, signed a seven-year contract at around the $7 million mark. So that would be problematic. I wonder how many clubs would have $1 million in their salary cap.”
Oliver had a troubled season in Melbourne and missed three months with a hamstring injury. He had a public argument with the club's strength and conditioning boss Selwyn Griffith, and reportedly told friends the Demons should have handled his injury better.
Questions arise over Clayton Oliver's attitude
According to Morris, the club had been considering moving Oliver to live with captain Max Gawn. "In recent times senior teammates have become increasingly more frustrated and concerned in equal measure with his welfare, to the point where Oliver moving away from his Camberwell house and in with captain Max Gawn has been seriously canvassed as a temporary option," Morris reported. "There is no suggestion of any wrongdoing, only that Gawn would support Oliver through a difficult period."
Morris clarified on Wednesday that Melbourne aren't trying to push Oliver out, but rival clubs are keen to have him. 7News also reported on Tuesday night that Oliver has undergone knee surgery since the end of the Demons' season, which he put off during the finals campaign.
Oliver said last weekend his season "was really frustrating on my behalf, and I probably didn’t handle it the way I should have. But the team of the Melbourne medical staff are unbelievable.”
Additionally, Braden Ingram of 9News has reported that the club has expressed concerns about Oliver's attitude and noted his absence from a number of post-season get-togethers. Ingrim said on Tuesday night: "Oliver's attitude has raised eyebrows at times, with his absence from recent post-season celebrations noted internally".
Sign up to our newsletter and score the biggest sport stories of the week.