Geelong CEO Brian Cook has revealed that the club fought tooth and nail to keep Gary Ablett at the Cats, tabling a $5 million offer over five years.

Cook told Mike Sheahan on an episode of Open Mike, which will be screened on Monday night, that the club did not go down without a fight, with the Cats tabling  the unsuccessful offer in a last ditch effort to keep their star midfielder.

“We ending up offering Gary $1 million a year (for five years) near the end,” Cook said. “We were going to go outside of our (pay) bands, but we said, ‘Look, we will get our money back from marketing and all that’.

“Our highest paid player other than Gary then was on about $500,000, maybe $600,000 max.

“But the offer he got (from Gold Coast) was much larger than that.”

Cook also said that he believes the out of contract Steven Motlop will re-sign with the club.

“I don’t know that for sure,” Cook said. “He is a star. He is a very good player, but he is not a great player. I think he will be (staying at Geelong),” he said.

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