AFL Rd 9 - Essendon v Brisbane
GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - JULY 31: Andrew McGrath of the Bombers handballs during the round nine AFL match between the Essendon Bombers and the Brisbane Lions at Metricon Stadium on July 31, 2020 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/AFL Photos/via Getty Images)

The Bombers, who currently sit 16th on the AFL ladder, face another hurdle with former No.1 pick Andrew McGrath reportedly set to hold off contract talks, as the 23-year-old sees no rush into re-signing six games into the season.

This year, McGrath is above average for his position with 23.6 disposals, and 344.7 meters gained, yet is below average for score involvements (2.4) and has struggled going by foot with a kicking efficiency of 62.5%.

Speaking on 7News, chief sports reporter Tom Browne said that while McGrath firms as a likely retention signing for the Bombers, the onballer is in no rush to ink an extension.

"It's most likely he will re-sign...he's passionate, he's a potential captain," Browne said on Monday.

"But at the moment, he's holding off those discussions.

"There's no rush at this stage from the McGrath camp."

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In other news for the Bombers, a rival club has already started to circle contracted midfielder Dylan Shiel after he was initially sent to the VFL, then brought back as the medi-sub against the Western Bulldogs last Saturday.

Shiel, who is currently in the middle of a six-year deal worth up to $4.8 million, has been looked at by a prominent AFL club as reported by Tom Browne.

Browne told Triple M that Shiel is "offensively a good player...if the Bombers wanted to pay some of his salary...and give him up for a second round pick, I'm sure there are clubs that would be potentially interested."

Shiel has played 51 games for the Bombers since joining in 2019, averaging 23.6 disposals, 4.10 inside-50s, and 4.96 clearances.

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The former Giant could return to Ben Rutten's best 22 this weekend as the Bombers prepare for their bout with Hawthorn on Saturday.