MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 22: Tom Mitchell of the Hawks celebrates a goal during the round 18 AFL match between the Carlton Blues and the Hawthorn Hawks at Etihad Stadium on July 22, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

St Kilda great Leigh Montagna believes Carlton would be a fitting suitor for star Hawk Tom Mitchell.

Despite being contracted until the end of the 2023 season, reports have emerged this season that Mitchell would be open to departing Hawthorn in favour of a Victorian rival.

The Tigers and Blues have been linked to the Brownlow medallist since the aforementioned rumours surfaced, as the Hawks look to plan a rebuild and coaching handover under Alastair Clarkson and Sam Mitchell.

With this in mind, Montagna spoke to The Herald Sun's Jon Ralph to analyse potential trade bait for the Hawks, with Mitchell one of five players coming to mind.

Montagna weighed up Mitchell's value on the open market, suggesting a first-round draft selection from a premiership contender could suit all parties involved.

“If the Hawks thought they could get a pick in the teens you look at the long list of clubs who need an extra midfielder," he said.

“Whether it’s Port Adelaide or Sydney, or a club like Carlton who has the famous family ties (with father and ex-Blue Barry). If I was the Hawks I would want more than pick 20 given he’s 28 and a Brownlow medallist.’’

Montagna also placed forward duo Luke Breust and Jack Gunston in the spotlight, but admitted the pair should be seen as "untouchable".

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 23: Luke Breust of the Hawks celebrates a goal during the round five AFL match between the Hawthorn Hawks and the West Coast Eagles at Melbourne Cricket Ground on April 23, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

While placing gun midfielder Jaeger O'Meara in a similar category, Montagna did suggest lively forward Chad Wingard could be of great worth to a flag fancy club.

“I think he has real currency for a club that is contending and needs class in the front half,” Montagna said.

“He would be in high demand for a team that is contending. You would give up a first-round pick but not inside 10.

"If you knew you were contending you would give up a pick between 12 and 18 to top off your list. We aren’t seeing the best of him, he is a player who would thrive at a club that is winning games and it’s tough for him in the role he plays now.”

Wingard was closely linked to the Western Bulldogs toward the end of 2018, with the former Port Adelaide best and fairest opting to join the Hawks instead.

The Bulldogs are now in favouritism for the 2021 premiership, while Wingard joins Mitchell in being contracted to Hawthorn until the end of the 2023 season.