Essendon chief executive Ian Robson has denied the club used a third-party job offer to entice Brendon Goddard to leave St Kilda and join the Bombers.
Robson and Bombers coach James Hird confirmed on Tuesday Goddard will play for Essendon in 2013 having joined the club in a restricted free-agency deal after St Kilda declined to match Essendon's offer.
But Robson was keen to clarify that Essendon 'had no conversation with any third party' in relation to Goddard.
"Obviously we're proud of the outcome but we're also very proud of the tight manner in which we've gone about it...we would like to think we've demonstrated complete respect for them (St Kilda) and him (Goddard)," Robson said.
"I can tell you the process we followed was very, very tight and it did not involve contact, communication, financial assistance in any way from a third party," Robson said.
Hird revealed he only started to believe Goddard would join his squad in the last few days.
"I've had a couple of conversations with Brendon over the last month or two but it was only recently as the weekend that we thought we were a good chance and yesterday morning when it was confirmed," Hird said.
"These things happen pretty quickly when they happen."
Goddard, who is only the second player to take advantage of the AFL's new free-agency rules, played 205 matches for St Kilda in 10 seasons, including 20 games in 2012.
The 27-year-old utility primarily made his name at the Saints as a hard-running defender who set up play from defence but Hird argued Goddard's future at Essendon would be further up the ground.
"The great thing about Brendon is he can play in a number of different positions and we'll certainly utilise that part of his game," Hird said.
"Our biggest deficiency is in our midfield so you'd have to think he'll spend a fair bit of time there."
Hird claimed Goddard's arrival would not require any Essendon players to leave due to salary cap pressures and did not rule out another free-agency deal if the right opportunity presented itself."It's hard to answer that question totally because at the moment we're not (looking at another signing) but things come up and players knock on your door," the Bombers coach said.