A move home to South Australia reportedly looms as the most likely scenario for Melbourne ruckman Brodie Grundy if he is to seek a trade at the end of his first season with the Demons.

Grundy has been flagged as a potential trade target for rival clubs, with the likes of Port Adelaide and Sydney seen as fitting suitors for the out-of-favour ex-Magpie.

After playing in the Demons' first 16 games of the season, Grundy has managed just one appearance under Simon Goodwin since, with the two-time All-Australian left to play in the VFL for the majority of the season's conclusion.

Grundy's lack of game time, coupled with his known ability as a dominant ruck force, has reportedly piqued the interest of rival clubs looking to bolster their key position depth for 2024.

The Power currently have a trio of ruckmen still unsigned for next year and could be treading water as they await a decision from Grundy, while the Swans are likely to be in the market for a ruckman after the retirement of Tom Hickey.

According to The Herald Sun, Port Adelaide are the front-runner for the multiple Copeland Trophy winner, with the Swans' place in the race for the 29-year-old seemingly fading.

Geelong, a club that was interested in Grundy before his switch to Melbourne last off-season, are understood not to be in the race for the star ruckman.

Grundy was in favour of staying in Victoria last year after being placed on the trade table by Collingwood, with Melbourne the unlikely landing spot for the Unley junior given Max Gawn's reign with the Redlegs.

The combination of both Gawn and Grundy struggled to have an efficient impact in the forward half of the field for Goodwin, who conceded last week the experiment hasn't paid off.

The premiership coach said he still expects Grundy to remain at Melbourne for the final years of his contract, with discussions on his future to come in due course.

"Those things will be discussed at the end of the year," Goodwin said. "Brodie, from my end, is a Melbourne player. We need him up and running and going well, and that's my total focus at the moment.

Casey Demons' Brodie Grundy and North Melbourne's Jacob Edwards in the VFL, 2023 (Image by Josh Chadwick/AFL Photos)

"I understand the exterior talk and the noise about it, but he's got four years to go as a Melbourne Football player and we certainly love having him at our footy club."

Grundy could be in line to return to Goodwin's side for their first final - a qualifying encounter with his old side Collingwood at the MCG next Thursday.

With Grundy recording 33 disposals, 18 hitouts, 10 clearances and three goals in a VFL Wildcard Round final last week, mixed with Jake Melksham's knee injury and concerns surrounding Bayley Fritsch's foot, the Demons could recall their star recruit.