Highly-coveted restricted free agent Zach Merrett has opened up on his situation at Essendon, revealing he is yet to make a call on his future at Tullamarine.
Merrett is arguably the most in-demand player entering the 2021 off-season, with Carlton, Port Adelaide, Melbourne, Brisbane and Collingwood all tipped to be expressing their interest in the 25-year-old.
The dual-Crichton medallist is sure to land a lucrative deal from 2022, but it remains a matter of with which club.
While the Bombers remain confident Merrett will extend his stay in the red and black, there are continued concerns given the ongoing uncertainty and high-level interest in the All-Australian.
Merrett broke his silence in an interview with The Herald Sun this week, stating he is yet to make a decision as he places his focus on delivering success to the club instead.
"Clearly the fans will think, why doesn’t he just sign and tell us, but hopefully they say, he’s committed, he’s helping. That’s what I want them to see regardless of any situation," Merrett said.
"I don’t think about the contract. I literally wake up every day and think, 'how can I win a premiership for Essendon, how can I help (Nik) Cox, (Archie) Perkins, (Darcy) Parish, (Andrew) McGrath and that’s what motivates me.'
"I haven’t made up my mind yet."
SEN's Sam Edmund believes the Bombers should remain confident in retaining their star onballer and tips Merrett to extend his career with Essendon past 2021.
"I think Essendon has every right to be as confident as they possibly can be that Zach Merrett will stay and I think if you’re a betting person then Zach Merrett does stay," Edmund said on Crunch Time.
Gerard Whateley placed his support behind Merrett's honest response when speaking on his future.
“His holding statement is ‘I haven’t made up my mind’ which I really like about him,” Whateley said.
“It’s so straight forward then way that he talks about it, you take great reassurance if you’re an Essendon fan if (he’s going to be) that straight and down about it when the time comes (to make a decision).”