The Suns are fresh off cementing three-time premiership coach Damien Hardwick as their new senior mentor, on Monday morning locking in the ex-Richmond boss on a never-before-seen six-year coaching contract.
Franklin, meantime, announced his retirement from AFL football during the year, with the majority of pundits expecting that decision since the beginning of the season.
However, following an apparent imminent relocation to Queensland, the ex-Hawk and Swan could call a third football club home starting next season, though not as a player.
'Buddy' is being sought after by Gold Coast to assist the club in a sideline capacity, according to 7News' Mitch Cleary.
Franklin has substantial ties to Gold Coast's present higher-ups, as Hardwick sat on Alastair Clarkson's 2008 Hawthorn premiership coaching panel, while current Suns CEO Mark Evans was formerly the goalkicker's manager for nine years.
Gold Coast will explore what an off-field role could look like for Lance Franklin ahead of his impending relocation to QLD.
Damien Hardwick part of the Hawks’ premiership coaching panel in 2008… Suns CEO Mark Evans was Buddy’s Hawks footy manager for nine years https://t.co/lZYERmnJex pic.twitter.com/viDvgoWr8o
— Mitch Cleary (@cleary_mitch) August 21, 2023
Just as pertinent for the Suns, though, is the fact that Hardwick hasn't ruled out his new club making a play for former disciple and superstar Tiger Dustin Martin, who was a Brownlow medallist in 2017 and achieved a trio of Norm Smith medal wins during his playing days under Hardwick.
"He's a contracted player at Richmond and all I want to do at the moment is sit back and enjoy [this] moment," said Hardwick during his Monday morning press conference in response to 'Dusty' queries.
While speculation regarding a possible Martin move to the Gold Coast will only continue to build since Hardwick's official acquisition, the 32-year-old's Richmond deal lasts through the end of next season, meaning any 2023 transfer would have to come via a trade deal.