Mick Malthouse wasted little time after being unveiled as Carlton's new coach by declaring he will 'absolutely' target out-of-contract Collingwood power forward Travis Cloke.
Malthouse was unveiled by the Blues at Visy Park on Tuesday morning, with president Stephen Kernahan confirming the three-time premiership coach will be in charge for at least the next three years.
A prickly Malthouse became testy when challenged on exactly when he had first met with Carlton, insisting that he had had no contact with the club until eight days earlier, after they had moved on his predecessor and club great Brett Ratten.
But he did not hesitate when asked about the prospect of chasing after Collingwood star Cloke, who is still to publicly declare his intentions beyond 2012, a season in which he has struggled at times before regaining form in the past two matches.
"Absolutely," Malthouse said when asked if he would attempt a reunion with Cloke, having been his only coach at the Magpies until Nathan Buckley replaced Malthouse 12 months ago.
But Malthouse added that the Blues will contact Cloke 'at the appropriate time', after the Magpies' season comes to an end which could be as soon as this Saturday night when they face the Eagles in a cut-throat semi-final.
Kernahan backed Malthouse, even if he did reiterate what he had said when announcing Ratten's departure a fortnight ago, that he expects Cloke to remain in black and white.
"That was my personal view, as I said at the time but Mick's made it clear what he thinks," Kernahan said.
"I sincerely think, especially after the last couple of weeks, that Travis will be signed up by Collingwood and he will stay.
"So at the end of the footy season when he makes up his mind what he wants to do, if he wants to leave the club of course our club will be interested in pursuing him."
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