MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 31: Tom Lynch and Steven May (L) of the Suns celebrate after winning during the round two AFL match between the Carlton Blues and the Gold Coast Suns at Etihad Stadium on March 31, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

Gold Coast will play hardball with captain Steven May and will require convincing to allow their captain to leave in this year’s trade period.

May is contracted for next season but has met with Melbourne, Collingwood, Hawthorn and Essendon in the hope of seeking a trade to Victoria.

The Demons are in the best position to recruit the key defender, but will need Jesse Hogan to move to Fremantle to have any chance of luring May.

However with Gold Coast almost certain to receive a first round selection for May next year should he leave as a free agent, the Suns have the upper hand in any negotiations.

“I don’t know that they’re [Melbourne] the frontrunner, but I was aware that they were interested in Steven, yes,” Gold Coast list and strategy boss Cameron told NAB AFL Trade Radio. 

“But also, sitting back where we are looking at the clubs that Alex McDonald, Steven’s manager, has told us they’ve spoken to, I look at that and try to work out how they think they could possibly get us to come to the table.

“I know there’s a lot of things going on with Melbourne that I’m not privy to, but right at the moment I don’t see how anyone can come and recompense us enough to let go of Steven one year early.”

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There has also been speculation about the future of Jack Martin.

Martin has been linked to Essendon in recent weeks, but Cameron hosed down any speculation about the 23-year-old.

“Our position on Jack Martin is we won’t be trading Jack,” Cameron told NAB AFL Trade Radio.

“Essendon has definitely shown an interest in him, and I understand that they’re keen to grab hold of him because he’s a good player, but we’re not in a position where we’d be looking to trade Jack.

“A bit like Steven, I just can’t see how Essendon could possibly recompense us for a player of Jack Martin’s ilk when he’s got a year to go on his contract.

“We all get surprised from time to time, but I just can’t see how it can happen.”