SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MAY 01: Dylan Stephens of the Swans celebrates kicking a goal during the round seven AFL match between the Sydney Swans and the Geelong Cats at Sydney Cricket Ground on May 01, 2021 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Collingwood has emerged as a front runner to recruit Dylan Stephens should the young midfielder depart the Swans.

Fox Footy's Tom Morris has reported that Stephens faces a decision between staying at Sydney or moving to the Magpies, after previously being linked with a move to Essendon.

Essendon was keen – they still are, but I believe he’s more likely to stay at Sydney now or potentially go to Collingwood," Morris said on AFL Tonight. 

"It's very much a 50-50 call and Stephens is weighing up these options as we speak.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MAY 01: Dylan Stephens of the Swans kicks a goal during the round seven AFL match between the Sydney Swans and the Geelong Cats at Sydney Cricket Ground on May 01, 2021 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Stephens has been offered a two-year extension to stay at Sydney but is reportedly in search of a more senior opportunity.

The 20-year-old was taken at pick five in the 2019 Draft, but was limited to only seven matches this year and 15 appearances in the past two seasons.

It comes within a salary cap squeeze at the Swans after co-captain Luke Parker signed a four-year extension, forcing a number of players to explore their future playing options.

Veteran Sam Reid is out-of-contract, while midfielder George Hewett remains likely to move to a Victorian club.

Jordan Dawson has also sought a trade home to a South Australian club, after taking his game to new heights in 2021, finishing third in the club's best and fairest.

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