PERTH, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 24: Tim O'Brien of the Hawks celebrates after scoring a goal during the round 23 match between the West Coast Eagles and the Hawthorn Hawks at Optus Stadium on August 24, 2019 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Will Russell/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

The Western Bulldogs are set to sign high-flying utility Tim O'Brien from Hawthorn.

The news will lock in O'Brien as a key defender at Whitten Oval, and looms as a direct replacement for defender Lewis Young who recently requested a trade to Carlton earlier this week.

The Mount Gambier product has played 97 games for Hawthorn since debuting in 2014, which included a career-high 19 games this year, but found himself on the outer at Waverley Park after the club stalled contract negotiations with the 27-year old.

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 24: Tim O'Brien of the Hawks celebrates after scoring a goal during the round 23 match between the West Coast Eagles and the Hawthorn Hawks at Optus Stadium on August 24, 2019 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Will Russell/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

According to reports from Fox Footy's Tom Morris, O'Brien spoke with Dogs head coach Luke Beveridge over Zoom and the utility is set to sign with the club on a multi-year deal and will play as a key defender alongside Alex Keath in 2022.

Port Adelaide were also interested in O'Brien to be used to support Charlie Dixon in attack, but will now turn their focus to signing Giants forward Jeremy Finlayson to replace tall Peter Ladhams, who has been told to explore other options.

Nothing has been set in stone, but it is understood that O'Brien will join the Kennel in the coming days.

The high-flying utility is flexible with his skills and can play in defence, attack and act as a secondary ruck option to help out Stefan Martin and Tim English where need-be.

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The Hawks' compensation for O'Brien's departure will not be a glamourous return as the key defender is an unrestricted free agent.

The 27-year old is known for his high-flying marks and will add a nice dynamic down back for the Dogs as they look to bounce back from their recent Grand Final defeat heading into the 2022 season.