Off-contract Giants midfielder Jacob Hopper is prepared to hold off on negotiations with Greater Western Sydney until later into the season.
As reported by Fox Sports' Tom Morris, Hopper is set to receive a surge of interest from rival clubs over the coming weeks, but tips the 24-year-old to ink a new deal that would keep him in the Harbour City until the end of the 2023 season.
Reports emerged last month of increasing interest in the GWS bull, who is seen as a key retention signing for Giants coach Leon Cameron.
Having lost Jeremy Cameron, Zac Williams and Aidan Corr to Victorian clubs in last year's exchange period, Hopper will be another key asset to retain at season's end.
Speaking on AFL Tonight, Morris revealed that a deal between the Giants and Hopper isn't expected in the short to medium term.
“Even though interest will come for him across the next eight weeks, he’s quite happy to wait I’m told,” Morris said.
“The Giants clearly want to keep him, they really rate him. They see him as someone to build around for their midfield along with Tim Taranto and Tom Green over the next few years.
“But I don’t think he’s going to sign anytime soon. I think if it does come, and I expect it will come, it will be right at the very end of the year. It will be two years, it will take him to free agency.
“He’s such an important player for them, I’d suggest that he’d be in for a fairly big pay rise as well if his form continues.”
Hopper, along with fellow onballer Josh Kelly, Lachie Whitfield, Tim Taranto and Tom Green have aid the Giants back into finals contention.
Kelly is another key name the club will be looking to re-sign past this year, with the silky midfielder likely to be one of the most coveted players in the free agency market.
Recently speaking to AFL.com, Kelly - like Hopper - was placing a priority on his football for the time-being.
“At the moment I’m very focused on my football. That’s been even more than usual because we lost a few leaders early in the year, so I’ve really felt the opportunity to take a step up in that area and I haven’t been too focused on my contract,” he said.
“I’m enjoying my football and playing with the young group that we’ve had. It has been a bit different to what we expected going into the year but that has made it exciting.
“At the right time, I’ll sit down and contemplate a few things, but I’m just loving football and playing with a young group.”
The Giants have a bye for Round 12 before a clash with North Melbourne.