PERTH, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 10: Max Holmes of the Cats handpasses the ball during the 2021 AFL First Preliminary Final match between the Melbourne Demons and the Geelong Cats at Optus Stadium on September 10, 2021 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Carson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

The manager of contracted Geelong young gun Max Holmes looked to reassure Cats fans their pacey midfielder will be at the club next year.

Holmes has emerged as an unlikely trade target this year for rival clubs, while Collingwood are said to have shown some interest in the former first-round pick.

The third-year Cats wingman is signed at Kardinia Park until the end of 2024, having added two more seasons to his rookie contract in July last year.

Holmes, who will turn 21 later this month, is seen as a crucial piece in Geelong's long-term plans as the reigning premiers brace for a potential finish outside of the finals frame this year - which would be just the second time the Cats have missed September under senior coach Chris Scott's record-breaking reign.

While Geelong are seen to be a key player in this year's off-season, their fans can expect Holmes' name not to be raised among trade discussions in the coming months.

Speaking to News Corp, Holmes' agent Tom Seccull said Holmes is "invested" in the Cats' long-term plans and will look to discuss his future in the hoops at the right time.

"He is really happy and invested in the future of the club and really settled," he said.

"He is contracted for next year and we will sit down with the club and chat through his future when the time is right."

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 10: Max Holmes of the Cats handpasses the ball during the 2021 AFL First Preliminary Final match between the Melbourne Demons and the Geelong Cats at Optus Stadium on September 10, 2021 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Carson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Holmes is set to reach his 50-game milestone before the end of the home and away season - a year where the East Malvern junior has taken his game to new heights to average 19.47 disposals, 4.88 tackles, 4.35 inside 50s and 3.35 clearances per game from his 17 matches.

The emerging midfielder firms as Geelong's No.1 midfield asset for the future, likely joining former Giant Tanner Bruhn and eighth overall pick Jhye Clark, who were both attained through last year's off-season.

Geelong also acquired Suns utility Jack Bowes along with the pick that led to Clark's selection, as well as Collingwood sharpshooter Oliver Henry in what was a busy trade window for list manager Andrew Mackie.

The Cats could be in line for another active player movement window this year, having been linked to free agent Bomber Darcy Parish throughout the course of this season.

Geelong will have players on their own books to deal with as well, with fringe defender Esava Ratugolea emerging as one of the more in-demand names this year. Port Adelaide are reported to be the leading suitor for Ratugolea, who requested a trade to Alberton Oval last year before a move failed to transpire due to his contract status.

Hawthorn, Sydney and Essendon are also among the clubs linked to the forward-turned-backman.

The Cats also have forward trio Tom Hawkins, Gary Rohan and Brad Close and veterans Isaac Smith, Rhys Stanley and Zach Tuohy, among others, still unsigned for 2024.