Exiled Western Bulldog Jake Stringer's trade to Essendon will drag into the second week of trade period, according his manager Paul Connors.
That is if it even happens at all.
Connors expressed frustration at the Bulldogs' stance with regard to Stringer on Tuesday, accusing the club of hedging its bets.
The Dogs put Stringer up for trade after a troubled season, but have demanded the Bombers' pick 11 in return and said publicly they will hold him to his contract for 2018 if they don't get the right deal.
"It's a backflip isn't it?," Connors told SEN.
"This (trade) won't happen in the first week of trade (period) I promise you."
Essendon are also trying to land Adam Saad and Devon Smith at this trade period.
A drawn out negotiation over Stringer threatens to delay those deals and those of other clubs.
The Bombers have been Stringer's major suitor since he was put up for trade, but Connors refuted the widely-held belief that they are the only club he could end up at.
"I don't know if he's completely chosen Essendon yet," he said.
"I think we'd like to end up there but I think we're playing our cards a bit closer to our chests instead of making big public statements on where he wants to go.
"But there's one where (the Dogs) are speaking publicly about it being time to move on and they're now hedging their bets because they're not getting offered exactly what they thought.
"It's frustrating from our point of view how that's been played."
The AFL trade period will enter its third day without any trade paperwork lodged with the league.