Wantaway Bulldogs midfielder Josh Dunkley could be forced to find a new club through the Pre-Season Draft as negotiations between the Dogs and Brisbane fail to progress in favour of the Whitten Oval club.
Dunkley has confirmed his desire to depart the Kennel in a move north to Brisbane as his contract expires, however given he doesn't fall under a free agency band, a trade is required to see the 2022 best and fairest winner secure a move to the Lions.
The Dogs had demanded a pair of first-round selections on return for Dunkley two years ago when he had hoped for a move to Essendon, who were unwilling to give up that amount of draft capital for the Gippsland product.
But the same scenario is in place this year, with the Lions' requests in negotiations leaving the Western Bulldogs frustrated, according to SEN's Sam Edmund.
So much so that the Dogs have flagged they could allow Dunkley to remain unsigned come the end of the trade period and have the 25-year-old enter the open market through the Pre-Season Draft.
Brisbane held Pick 15 for this year's draft before moving the pick on for a pair of later selections for the 2022 and 2023 drafts in a trade with the Giants, further adding to the worrying talks with the Dogs.
According to Edmund, the Bulldogs had requested Pick 15 and the Lions' future first-round selection in return for Dunkley, only for the Lions to request the Dogs' picks of 30 and 39 join Dunkley in heading to Queensland.
The Lions' priorities are also shared with gaining the needed draft points for this year's count to secure highly-rated father-son duo Will Ashcroft and Jaspa Fletcher, who could both land in the first-round.
Brisbane's best pair of picks are now sat at Pick 21 (which was attained in their trade with GWS) and their future first-round pick, which reportedly isn't a strong enough package to satisfy the Bulldogs.
According to a Bulldogs source, the club are open to getting nothing in return for Dunkley and seeing the Charles Sutton Medal winner up for grabs for any club.
Brisbane won't be able to select anyone in the Pre-Season Draft until Pick 15, four spots behind the Bulldogs' selection.
Both the Lions and Dogs have until 7:30pm (AEDT) next Wednesday, October 12 to broker a trade for Dunkley.