As we take another step closer to silly season, the AFL trade news and rumours continue to arise across the league's landscape.

The past week has seen arguably the most entertaining report of all, with Swans stat Lance Franklin linked to a move north.

The Suns and Bombers are also busy as we near the off-season, while we look at potential targets for the Hawks ahead of next year.

Here's your AFL trade news and rumours update...

Buddy hits pause on contract talks in wake of Lions link

Swans star Lance Franklin has stated he is currently undecided on his playing future and will need time after the season to confirm whether he continues in the game.

Franklin was subject to reports earlier this week that suggested the 35-year-old had notified the Swans of his decision to depart the club at season's end in favour of a move to the Brisbane Lions.

The Swans and Lions have both refuted the report, with speculation around Franklin's future only growing in recent days.

A statement released through his manager Adam Finch detailed that contract talks have been halted ahead of the off-season, via AFL Media's Cal Twomey.

“At this stage conversations have been paused around my contract so I can put all my focus on playing footy. No further comment will be made until the season is done & I have decided about my future," the statement reads.

“I am still undecided and need time after the season to make a family decision about whether I continue to play next year.”

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 25: Lance Franklin of the Swans salutes the crowd as he leaves the field after kicking his 1000th goal during the 2022 AFL Round 02 match between the Sydney Swans and the Geelong Cats at the Sydney Cricket Ground on March 25, 2022 In Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Links connecting Franklin to the Lions came after he and his partner Jesinta bought a house in Queensland, hoping to be closer to family on the Gold Coast.

DETAILS: Franklin breaks silence following bombshell Brisbane report 

Suns chasing Essendon skipper Dyson Heppell 

The Gold Coast Suns are reportedly "in the mix" for Essendon captain Dyson Heppell, who is yet to recommit to the Bombers beyond this year.

Heppell's future has been speculated this past month amid contract uncertainty for the 30-year-old, who is understood to have only recently been tabled a one-year extension.

Now, according to RSN's Mark Stevens, the Suns have seemingly thrown their hat into the ring for Heppell's services, with a potentially longer deal on the cards.

"There's been speculation about other clubs, my sources are saying Gold Coast are firmly in the mix for Dyson Heppell," Stevens told RSN Breakfast Club. 

Heppell has played 210 games for the Bombers since making his debut in 2011, a year he won the Rising Star Award.

FULL STORY: Suns in the mix to sign Bombers skipper

Dockers reportedly showing interest in Crows forward

Off-contract Crows forward Elliott Himmelberg is reportedly on the radar of the Fremantle Dockers, who are looking to bolster their attack this off-season.

The emergence of Darcy Fogarty, coupled with veteran Taylor Walker's strong run of form across the past two seasons, has limited Himmelberg's minutes.

The situation could open interest from rival clubs, with the Dockers already tipped to be showing some level of interest in the Redland product.

Elliott Himmelberg and Andrew Phillips during the AFL match between Essendon and Adelaide, Round 4, 2022 (Photo by Cameron Grimes / Zero Digital Media

According to SEN SA's Michelangelo Rucci, Fremantle have identified Himmelberg as a potential target to sharpen their speartip.

READ: Fremantle linked to out-of-contract Crow

Port keeping tabs on Grundy situation

Port Adelaide are understood to be keeping tabs on contracted Collingwood ruckman Brodie Grundy's situation ahead of the off-season, however "don't see" the Magpies star leaving Victoria at season's end.

Reports have speculated that Grundy firms as a chance to depart Olympic Park this year, despite currently being tied to Collingwood until the end of the 2027 season.

The situation has continued to be met with external conjecture, with Grundy's name again tied to another rival club.

According to 7 News' Tom Browne, the Power are keeping notice of the situation that surrounds the South Australian.

Port Adelaide is interested in where Grundy is going to end up and his trade status at the end of the year,” Browne said on Wednesday night.

FULL STORY: Grundy linked with Port Adelaide

Eagle yet to make call on future

Premiership-winning Eagle Willie Rioli is yet to put pen to paper to remain in blue and gold, with recent reports suggesting the forward could be set to fly the nest at season's end.

Having walked through the doors at Lathlain after being plucked with the 52nd pick of the 2016 National Draft, the 27-year-old has weathered both highs and lows, including serving a two-year drug ban and further charges in April of last year.

Although reports from AFL Media claim that Rioli has been "presented a multi-year deal" to remain in the west, the small-forward is still mulling up his options before the cessation of West Coast's current campaign.

While no specific suitors have been listed as of yet, given Essendon's desire to chase small-forward options Malcolm RosasBobby HillIzak Rankine and Toby Bedford across the course of the past 12 months, Rioli's skillset more than befits the Bombers' recruitment strategy.

READ MORE: Rioli attracting attention with decision looming  

Crows reportedly up ante in chase for gun Sun

A $4 million offer to return home is understood to have Gold Coast forward Izak Rankine heavily contemplating a move to Adelaide at season's end.

The South Australian goalsneak was tipped to be a near certainty to follow in the footsteps of his fellow 2018 first-round selections and re-sign with the Suns, however increased interest from rival clubs looks to have shaken the situation.

GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 27: Izak Rankine handballs during a Gold Coast Suns AFL training session at Metricon Stadium on March 27, 2019 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

Now, according to SEN's Sam Edmund, the Crows are forking up an equally significant offer that could tempt Rankine to return to his home state.

A five-year, $800,000-per-season deal has reportedly been floated, seeing Rankine's chances of re-signing with Gold Coast plummet.

FULL STORY: Adelaide grow stronger in Rankine tug-of-war

Can St Kilda afford to roll dice on De Goey? 

St Kilda are reported to be interested in Collingwood free agent Jordan De Goey, but does the controversial Magpies star add to what the Saints are building at Moorabbin?

We assess the for and against of St Kilda signing De Goey at season's end, and how the move could play out.

READ: Heaven or Hell? Can St Kilda afford to roll the dice on De Goey?

Rivals reportedly showing interest in young Port utility

Victorian clubs are reportedly circling contracted Port Adelaide player Miles Bergman, potentially looking to pry the 20-year-old back to his home state.

Bergman is averaging 16.71 disposals, 2.43 tackles and 2.29 inside 50s from seven matches this year, showing an ability to play across all three lines of the field as a versatile asset for his side.

His services could be of great use for several keen suitors, with clubs from the east understood to be showing interest in Bergman.

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 01: Charlie Cameron of the Lions and Miles Bergman of the Power challenge for the ball during the round seven AFL match between the Brisbane Lions and the Port Adelaide Power at The Gabba on May 01, 2021 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

According to SEN SA reporter Michaelangelo Rucci, multiple Victorian clubs are anticipated to move for Bergman this off-season.

Miles Bergman is under contract until 2023, the end of next season. But he has - what I’ve been told - fair interest from a few Victorian clubs to lure him back to Melbourne," Rucci said.

FULL STORY: Bergman gaining interest from the east

Five off-season targets for Hawthorn

There has been plenty to like about this Hawks side despite sitting in 13th, with the rise of Mitch Lewis and Dylan Moore particular highlights, while the sensational return of James Sicily in defence has put him in All-Australian conversations.

They are a young, exciting team that is destined to go places in years to come should they develop like many are predicting and will have their eye on returning to the finals yet again in 2023.

While they'll have plenty of players in mind, the Hawks would also be pretty keen to target other clubs' draft equity to continue blooding hidden gems in coming seasons.

in no particular order, we've listed five players the Hawks could target this off-season heading into 2023, including a Port Free agent and a Lions duo.

READ: Five targets for Hawthorn to consider