Brisbane duo and best mates Hugh McCluggage and Jarrod Berry are set to become some of the most sought-after players throughout the season as they are both free agents at the end of 2024.

With reports that rivals are set to show strong levels of interest, the Lions will be keen to lock the duo away, as McCluggage could be offered well over a million a season for his services, according to Herald Sun's Jon Ralph.

"Rivals are coming thick and fast for those Brisbane free agents in Jarrod Berry and Hugh McCluaggage," Ralph told the FOX broadcast on Thursday night.

"My understanding is some of those deals for McCluagge [are] $1.3 million per year for a long-term deal.

"The good news is the Lions do have money in their cap, they've been storing it away for this day."

Back in February, the 26-year-old said he "couldn't be happier" with his time at the club and its search for ultimate glory, after coming so close in 2023.

“I've really enjoyed my time here ... It's a great place to live,” McCluggage told Channel 7.

“We've built a really good club, off field and on field.”

“(Brisbane football manager) Danny (Daly) touched on it on Friday but myself and the club and are both comfortable with the position that we're in.

“It's up to my manager now to continue talks with the club.

“My sole focus right now is making sure I can do everything I can to make sure I'm in the right place to perform and the team can get off to a good start.

“I couldn't be happier at the minute ... I'm sure my manager and the club will work though it in due time.”

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Albeit more than likely McCluggage stays in Lions colours, rival clubs like Hawthorn, St Kilda and Essendon, who have "money to burn", could make plays for the midfielder.

Fresh off a 23-disposal, six score involvements and two-goal performance against Melbourne, the South Warrnambool product once again proved his worth when the heat was on.

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 09: Hugh McCluggage of the Lions in action during the Second Qualifying Final AFL match between the Brisbane Lions and Port Adelaide Power at The Gabba, on September 09, 2023, in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

As for Berry, Channel 7 reporter and Tradies podcast host Mitch Cleary thinks he's one to watch as there could be a squeeze at the Lions.

Like McCluggage, Berry is "more likely to stay" but is one to watch for rival clubs.

“He (Jarrod Berry) is going on my whiteboard because he's one of the nine restricted free agents right now in the competition,” Cleary told the Tradies Podcast.

“It has probably snuck under the radar for a few people.

“They will face a salary cap crunch sooner rather than later because of the stars they have to try and squeeze in.

Hugh McCluggage is going to be worth over $1 million on the open market, they've got stars on every line and Jarrod Berry being at his age of 26 this year is going to take some squeezing in.”

With the addition of Josh Dunkley, Will Ashcroft and Jaspa Fletcher to the team in the past 18 months, Berry has found himself playing unfamiliar roles in the senior side.

Fellow midfielder Deven Robertson also signed on for another two years, keeping him at the Lions until the end of 2025, adding to the intrigue surrounding the number seven.

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 28: Deven Robertson of the Lions celebrates after kicking a goal during the round 11 AFL match between the Brisbane Lions and the Greater Western Sydney Giants at The Gabba on May 28, 2022 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Cleary believes that rivals could offer Berry an "inside midfield" role to pry him out of Brisbane that would suit his game style.

“He's loyal and has every chance to stay, but there will be clubs trying to prise him out of the Lions looking at their salary cap situation and offering him more than the Lions can offer. They'll also be offering him a role as an inside mid because of the log jam of options they've got,” Cleary said.

“There's a reason he's not playing at regular centre bounces … but I'd say he's a good footballer. He's easily in the top 15 or 20 players at every club in the comp.”