Carlton are set to receive a compensation pick as Liam Jones nears an AFL return, per reports from The Age's Jake Niall.
Jones departed the club prior to the 2022 season due to league vaccination mandates after eight years with the Blues, but is now nearing a deal with former club the Western Bulldogs after the AFL ruled that players are no longer required to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
With a three-year deal for the 31-year-old on the horizon, the AFL is reportedly going to rule Jones a free agent at the conclusion of the season, meaning the Blues will be eligible for draft compensation.
Jones played 95 games for Carlton throughout his time at the club, after 66 games with the Bulldogs to begin his career. Following his retirement from the AFL, the defender has been playing for Palm Beach Currumbin in the QAFL, but has now reportedly left the club as he nears an AFL return.
The pick Carlton will receive as compensation will depend on the size of the contract signed by Jones, with Niall reporting that the Dogs are offering a three-year deal, but due to his age it is unlikely Carlton will receive a high ranking pick should Jones pull on a red, white and blue jumper.
A host of other Victorian clubs, including Essendon, were reportedly pursuing the tall defender in recent months, while the Blues ruled themselves out of contention early after filling Jones' spot with former Bulldog Lewis Young.