AFL Rd 2 - Fremantle v GWS
PERTH, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 28: Adam Cerra of the Dockers reacts after his team's win during the 2021 AFL Round 02 match between the Fremantle Dockers and the GWS Giants at Optus Stadium on March 28, 2021 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Carson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Carlton and Richmond have been tipped as the leading suitors in the chase for out-of-contract Dockers gun Adam Cerra.

Cerra has been a highly-coveted target for a number of Victorian clubs, with The Herald Sun now reporting that the Blues and Tigers are in the front-seat should the midfielder opt for a return home.

Hawthorn and Essendon have also been linked to the 21-year-old, but a finals finish with Fremantle could tempt the onballer to remain in purple past 2021.

The Dockers are understood to have tabled a four-year deal worth close to $3 million for Cerra's services, with rival offers reportedly falling short of that figure.

Fremantle great Matthew Pavlich told SEN earlier this week that he believes Cerra will remain in Perth from 2022, but could sign a deal shorter than hoped for the Dockers.

“I think Adam Cerra’s going to stay,” Pavlich said.

“All the talk is that as the year goes on and the end of the season nears, everyone’s saying that he’s going to go.

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - MAY 27: Adam Cerra of the Dockers gets his kick away under pressure during the round 10 AFL match between the Fremantle Dockers and the North Melbourne Kangaroos at Optus Stadium on May 27, 2018 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

“It may not be the four-year or the five-year longer-term deal that everyone at Fremantle would like him to sign, but it might be a shorter contract.

“I think he’ll stay, and I think he should stay. Get himself to that free agency window and then he can make that call."

Cerra has flourished for the Dockers across his 72 games in purple, with Dockers coach Justin Longmuir not short on midfield options.

Fremantle currently boast the likes of Nat Fyfe, Andrew Brayshaw, Caleb Serong, David Mundy and Cerra, with a move to Punt Road likely placing the latter into a similar selection scenario.

AFL Rd 9 - Fremantle v Collingwood
PERTH, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 02: Caleb Serong of the Dockers handpasses the ball during the round nine AFL match between the Fremantle Dockers and the Collingwood Magpies at Optus Stadium on August 02, 2020 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Will Russell/AFL Photos/via Getty Images)

The Tigers were urged by Hawthorn great Jordan Lewis to reconsider their interest in Cerra, encouraging the reigning premiers to instead look to the draft.

“I’d be staggered if they gave up their top picks in the draft,” Lewis said on AFL Nation earlier this month.

“I don’t think you need trade out players (and picks) out to get an Adam Cerra in, the draft pick that you might pick might be just as good but you don’t need to pay the money you’ll have to pay Cerra to come in."