Franklin puts AFL contract talks on hold

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Sydney superstar Lance Franklin has put contract talks on hold until the end of the AFL season as he weighs up if and where he will play next year.

Franklin has been linked to a move to Brisbane in recent days, while contrasting reports have suggested the 35-year-old restricted free agent is closer to re-signing with the Swans.

Franklin issued a brief statement via his manager Adam Finch on Saturday, declaring he is no certainty to play on in 2023.

"At this stage conversations have been paused around my contract so I can put all my focus on playing footy," Franklin said in the statement.

"No further comment will be made until the season is done and I have decided about my future.

"I am still undecided and need time after the season to make a family decision about whether I continue to play next year."

Speculation has been rife about Franklin's future since a Nine Network report on Thursday night claimed the goal-kicking great and wife Jesinta are seeking a move to be closer to family in Queensland.

Brisbane coach Chris Fagan, who knows Franklin well from their time together at Hawthorn, said on Friday those plans are "news to me" and could indicate the forward is intending to hang up his boots.

But Fagan also said the Lions would be interested in Franklin if he chooses to continue playing.

Sydney are aware of Franklin's decision to put talks on hold but are yet to respond publicly.

Earlier this week, Swans chief executive Tom Harley said the club would love Franklin to keep playing as long as he wants to and claimed there is "nothing untoward" in the delay on a new deal.

Franklin, who left Hawthorn as a free agent after his second premiership with the club in 2013, is coming to the end of his monster $10 million, nine-year deal with the Swans.

In March, the four-time Coleman Medal winner became the sixth player in AFL/VFL history to kick 1000 goals.

He has since passed Gary Ablett Snr to sit fifth on the all-time list with 1036 goals from 335 matches.

The tally includes 92 goals from 35 games since Franklin bounced back from an injury-ravaged 2020 season.

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