Geelong premiership captain Cameron Ling has conceded he struggles to see Gary Ablett returning to Geelong at the end of 2017.
Ablett famously asked the Suns to be traded back to the Cats at the end of last season, but was denied by Gold Coast.
Given he's contracted until the end of 2018, Ablett could request a trade again this off-season, but Ling believes a fair trade between the two parties could be a difficult task to manage.
“(The idea of a return is) very romantic. The very much little crazy Cat fan that I am, part of me wants that to happen — but I don’t see it happening,” Ling told Nova 100’s Chrissie, Sam and Browny on Tuesday morning.
“Geelong won’t give anything up for him and they shouldn’t at that age, but the Suns will expect and quite rightly demand something for him.
“So I reckon it will be a bit hard.”
Ablett's strong form this season could also make a deal tough to negotiate, as the Suns would like to be duly compensated by the Cats for Ablett's services.
The two-time Brownlow medallist is averaging 32.1 disposals a game in 2017, as well as 7.2 clearances and 5.2 tackles.
Despite Ling not being certain on Ablett's future, he was confident on the future of his former side this season, after wins against the Bulldogs, Port Adelaide and Adelaide in consecutive weeks have Geelong primed for a top four finish.
“I’m starting to get excited ... (after) three weeks of wondering if they were going to be playing in the finals or not they were playing that badly,” Ling said.
“The last three weeks, in particular Friday night against the Crows, it’s almost got me heading down there to start queuing up for Grand Final tickets.
“They’re going alright the boys, the true champions that are outstanding (like) Joel Selwood and Patty Dangerfield.”