Melbourne are all-in on the young key-forward combination of Harrison Petty and Jacob Van Rooyen heading into season 2024, confirming their intention to keep Petty, the South Australian local, on their list despite keen interest from Adelaide.
Demons' list boss Tim Lamb spoke on Gettable on Monday and confirmed that Petty is "100%" not going anywhere.
"Harrison's a really good player, that's why Adelaide would like to get him and that's why we're keeping him," Lamb said.
"Both Simon (Goodwin) and Richo (Alan Richardson) and myself have spoken to Harrison and he's aware of our position.
"We'll work to hopefully not only have him for the next two years but the next period after that."
With a year of AFL level development under the belt of 20-year-old Van Rooyen, the Demons hope this duo can fulfil their key forward stocks for the remainder of their premiership window, and potentially be the key reason behind further premiership success.
"We see him (Petty) partnering with Jacob Van Rooyen, we're really excited about that partnership," Lamb said.
"What we saw from it this year was really good, they clicked together well, they worked together well."
It was only in the final quarter of season 2022 when he was trialled in a forward role in a desperate move to save their season - which would end with an eventual semi-final loss to Brisbane; the first of their two straight sets exits in as many seasons.
This move looked threatening from the outset, and gave Melbourne an extra forward option heading into 2023.
The club utilised this option sparingly during this season, but reaped significant benefit with one particular performance; a six-goal, 10-mark outing in a 32-point win over Richmond.
This performance alone has been enough for the entire footy world to recognise Petty as a key swingman during the ongoing trade period, with Adelaide reportedly offering Pick 10 in this year's draft to secure the player with a long-term deal worth around $800,000 per year.
Petty's value may never be higher than it is now, but Melbourne are sticking fat with their future plans.
Accepting the Crows' reported offer would give Melbourne a mouth-watering draft hand this year, featuring Picks 6, 10, 11 and 42, and a realistic shot at moving further up to obtain the golden nugget at pick one, Harley Reid.
Indeed, Lamb has hinted at the possibility of a move to acquire the coveted pick, saying "we're always open to any opportunity around any of those picks," but also conceded that "you'd have to ask West Coast, they're the ones who hold pick one."
But, as of now, they'll only have 6, 11 and 42 to work with, while they've placed a second-round selection for 2024 on the table in pursuit of Adelaide small forward, Shane McAdam.
On the likely McAdam trade, Lamb said: "we think that's a really fair offer and we're hopeful that gets it done," despite reporting from the Crows' camp revealing they want more.
At present, the Demons have only added promising young tall forward Tom Fullarton from Brisbane and let go of Brodie Grundy, James Jordon and James Harmes, freeing up roughly $1.4 million cap space in the process.
This haul of departures leaves the door open for a big fish to enter, but we may have to wait until draft night to see what move Melbourne has planned.
On the Clayton Oliver controversy, Lamb said: "I'm not going to elaborate on anything to do with Clayton... but he's going well."
He also revealed that unsigned veteran Jake Melksham's ACL injury is progressing better than expected, saying he "will definitely be with us in 2024... we think he'll be back a fair bit sooner than everyone thinks."
With under three days remaining in the trade period, Melbourne remain one of the key players and a team to watch as the National Draft and preseason approaches.