AFL journalist Caroline Wilson believes star GWS midfielder Dylan Shiel is genuinely considering a return to Victoria at the end of the season.
Shiel still has one year to run on his current deal with the Giants, and is set to enter free agency at the end of the 2019 season.
However, Wilson says Shiel has already informed the Giants he plans to return to Victoria at some stage during his career, and that move could be made as early as October this year.
“I think GWS, they don’t want him to go, but Dylan Shiel has made it quite clear he wants to come back to Victoria at some stage,” Wilson told Sportsday radio on Tuesday.
“He is a free agent in a year and his salary is massive.
“The view of GWS is, they would like to keep him, but if he is going to go next year, they lose him for a lot less. If they lose him this year, that is the equivalent of the wage of two of their good players.
“So, they would perhaps let him go. They’re certainly entertaining the thought.
“They don’t want him to go but if he is going to go next year, then they would let him go this year.
“He is at the top of his game at the moment and maybe other people think he is at the top of his game ahead of where GWS think he is in his game.”
Wilson understands Shiel is tossing and turning over his decision to leave the club, and believes his ties to the expansion side will make it harder for him to head home.
“He is absolutely torn, completely torn.
“He was one of their first players, he is desperate to have success with that footy club, he loves his teammates and he is completely torn.”
Carlton, Hawthorn and Essendon are all reportedly interested in Shiel, as the Blues could use pick one to persuade the Giants to deal him to Ikon Park.