BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 24: Senior coach Damien Hardwick and Dustin Martin of the Tigers speak during a press conference after the 2020 AFL Grand Final match between the Richmond Tigers and the Geelong Cats at The Gabba on October 24, 2020 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Matt Roberts/AFL Photos/via Getty Images)

Gold Coast Suns CEO Mark Evans has hinted the club will be prepared to make a move for 2024 free agent Dustin Martin if he remains unsigned late into next year.

Martin was continuously tied to the Carrara club over the course of this season, with speculation surrounding the triple Norm Smith Medal winner increasing following the appointment of ex-Tigers coach and Martin's close mentor Damien Hardwick as the Suns' replacement for the departed Stuart Dew.

The Richmond superstar's lucrative seven-year deal is set to expire in 2024, making Martin an unrestricted free at the conclusion of his 15th campaign at Punt Road.

Martin had turned down the potential option to head north and reunite with Hardwick for the latter's first year at the helm of the Suns, instead deciding to see out the final term of his deal and likely become the next Tiger to reach the 300-game mark in the yellow and black.

Gold Coast will be ready to make their move next year if Martin doesn't sign an extension with Richmond however, with Evans hoping the champion Tiger "likes playing in Darwin".

"I guess it's been speculated because of his relationship with Damien Hardwick and I know he's out of contract at the end of [next] year," Evans said at the press announcement of the club's new playing deal in the Northern Territory on Monday.

"If no contract is done with Richmond, that obviously means there's a chance to talk with him.

"Hopefully he likes playing in Darwin."

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 24: Senior coach Damien Hardwick and Dustin Martin of the Tigers speak during a press conference after the 2020 AFL Grand Final match between the Richmond Tigers and the Geelong Cats at The Gabba on October 24, 2020 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Matt Roberts/AFL Photos/via Getty Images)

The Tigers themselves are preparing their own move to have Martin on their books for 2025, with their own CEO in Brendon Gale hoping an extension can be struck "in the not too distant future".

Gale told News Corp of his hopes that Martin sees himself as a one-club player following a strong 2023 season where he earned a spot in the All-Australian squad.

"Dustin is a great of our club and fully invested in helping us write the next chapter – clearly we will have discussions with his management in the not too distant future," Gale told the publication.

"He played some exceptional football last season. Change creates energy and I have no doubt Dustin feels that – he is a really important and valued part of our club."

Should Martin play a further 11 games for Richmond next year, he'll become the seventh Tiger to play 300 matches for the club, following premiership teammates Shane Edwards, Trent Cotchin and Jack Riewoldt in doing so.