PERTH, WESTERN AUSTRALIA - APRIL 14: Tom Lynch of the Suns celebrates after scoring a goal during the round four AFL match between the West Coast Eagles and the Gold Coast Suns at Optus Stadium on April 14, 2018 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Will Russell/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley has confirmed he has met face-to-face with out-of-contract Gold Coast co-captain Tom Lynch.

With Lynch expected to return to Melbourne ahead of the 2019 season, Richmond, Hawthorn and Collingwood are set to be at the head of the queue for Lynch, and Buckley decided to pitch the Pies to the 25-year-old earlier this year.

Footy Classified co-host Craig Hutchison asked Buckley if he had met with Lynch at all this year, with the Pies coach responding “Yes, a while back.”

“I think to be transparent, I think more clubs these days are very proactive about improving their lists and about wanting to give themselves the best chance to contend, not just in this season but in seasons beyond,” Buckley continued.

“Tom Lynch is a player that I can see fitting into our structure really well and making us a better team, so if that’s an indication of our interest in him, well then so be it.

“We make no apologies for being a club that wants to be as competitive as we possibly can in the future.

“We understand there’s other clubs that are going about their business in the same manner.

“I’m not going to give you blow-by-blows, but needless to say we wouldn’t have been the only club.”

Buckley’s confirmation comes a week after Richmond reportedly met with Lynch while he was in Melbourne last week following his season-ending knee surgery.