As reported by Jon Ralph on AFL Tonight, Bolton and the Tigers are reportedly at a "contract impasse" as both parties look to settle a new deal for the in-form midfielder.
Hailing from Western Australia, Bolton is sure to receive lucrative offers from both the Dockers and Eagles, as negotiations with Richmond continue to take place.
The 22-year-old was at his best once again during Saturday night's Dreamtime clash against the Bombers, playing a significant role in Richmond's 39-point victory.
CONTRACT NEWS: Eagles hoping to re-sign young gun
Bolton's impressive form continues to inflate his price as he has become a key contributor to Damien Hardwick's side this season the reigning premiers look to land a third-straight flag.
Ralph believes Bolton will sign on with the Punt Road club past this season, but revealed on Tuesday that the two parties aren't likely to come to a finalised deal until the end of the year.
“It is effectively a contract impasse for Richmond and Shai Bolton. He’s probably still going to stay but it’s going to take them all the way through to the end of the season to get this signature done,” Ralph said on Fox Sports.
“His manager Ralph Carr has told me several times this year that he believes his player will stay — he wants him to stay and he keeps telling Shai Bolton that that’s what he should do.
“Richmond wants to put a contract offer to him, but Bolton himself is the one who is adamant he won’t consider a new contract until the end of the season, he wants it to play out.”
Hardwick backed Bolton to remain with the Tigers and turn his back on more lucrative deals elsewhere, stating it' will be a "challenge" to retain his phenom onballer.
“It’s always the challenge, isn’t it? In good sides, the players play for less and they’ve got an understanding of that,” Hardwick said on SEN Breakfast this week.
“They’ll always get paid more elsewhere … but we think our players and our organisation creates a great culture that players want to stay and be a part of that.
“I think the vast majority of those guys will sacrifice to stay and we hope Shai is one of those players.
“He’s a prodigious talent, you’ve only got to look at the last 12 minutes of that game (against Essendon) to see what he can do and the improvement level he’s still got in front of him is enormous.
“We think he’ll stay but until he puts his signature on the dotted line we don’t know.”
The Tigers will have to weigh up the futures of several key players that remain yet to commit to the club for 2022.
Key tall Callum Coleman-Jones looks to have added a significant amount of value to his next deal following two strong performances in recent weeks in his return to the senior side.
Fellow ruck-utility Mabior Chol is also set to gain interest from rival clubs as he remains without a deal for next year.
Ralph added that the young pair, as well as the aforementioned trio of off-contract veterans, are sure to place further headaches on negotiations between the Tigers and Bolton.
“It’s an issue for Richmond because his price keeps going up by the week ... and how does Richmond offer contracts to the likes of Callum Coleman-Jones, Mabior Chol and even their experienced free agents in Shane Edwards and Jack Riewoldt when they don’t know how much money they need for this star player?” Ralph said.
The Tigers will face the Eagles on Sunday in Perth as they look to strengthen their bid for a top-eight finish.