HOBART, AUSTRALIA - JULY 31: Nathan Kreuger of the Cats is tackled by Jack Mahony of the Kangaroos during the 2021 AFL Round 20 match between the North Melbourne Kangaroos and the Geelong Cats at Blundstone Arena on July 31, 2021 in Hobart, Australia. (Photo by Grant Viney/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Rival clubs are understood to be keeping tabs on Geelong tall Nathan Kreuger, who remains unsigned for next season, per The Herald Sun.

Kreuger made his AFL debut on Saturday in Geelong's win over North Melbourne, playing as a key defender in the absence of veteran Lachie Henderson.

The 22-year-old was a late inclusion in to Chris Scott's side after Mark O'Connor was forced to withdraw from the match due to knee soreness.

Kreuger impressed in his first AFL match, collecting seven disposals and four marks as the Cats notched up their fifth straight win.

Recruited to Kardinia Park as a key forward, the Victor Harbour product remains toward the back of Scott's attacking targets pecking order given the status of forward quartet Tom Hawkins, Jeremy Cameron, Gary Rohan and Esava Ratugolea.

Kreuger's position at the Cattery could prompt further interest from rival clubs, with Collingwood understood to have shown interest in the South Australian last year.

The Herald Sun reports the Magpies offered Kreuger a three-year deal in 2020, which was turned down in order of a stay at Geelong.

Collingwood, among other clubs, are tipped to move for Kreuger's signature once again, with a deal between the 196cm forward and the Cats unlikely to be settled until after the season.

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Kreuger could look to remain at Kardinia Park and aim to land a spot in Scott's lethal backline, with Henderson all weighing up his future and out-of-contract.

Youngster Zach Guthrie had a career-best outing in the win over the Kangaroos, while former first-round pick Sam De Koning is touted as a key player for the Cats' future in defence.