MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 13: Max Gawn (left) and Jake Melksham of the Demons celebrates during the 2017 AFL round 21 match between the Melbourne Demons and the St Kilda Saints at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on August 13, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Melbourne is expected to lock-in All-Australian ruckman Max Gawn to a new long-term contract before the 2018 season commences. 

Gawn, who is set to become a restricted free agent next year if unsigned, is likely to sign a 3-year deal according to Melbourne CEO Peter Jackson.

“We’ve been talking to Max all year,” Jackson said on SEN radio.

“We’re far enough that something will get done in the reasonably near future.

“I don’t know whether it will be next week or before Christmas, but I think it will be before next season starts.

“Max is committed to the club and sees the opportunities that are coming, so I don’t think there will be a problem there.”

At 25 years of age, Gawn is entering his prime as a ruckman and will secure the largest contract of his career, making him one of the top-earners at the Demons.

“He is contracted for 2018, so if you take that into account, I think (the contract) will go out to four years in total,” Jackson said.

Melbourne are also confident of re-signing vital players Christian Petracca, Neville Jetta and Tom McDonald.

McDonald and Jetta are both free agents at the end of the 2018 season.