Essendon are understood to have met with Melbourne's James Harmes, however the Demons midfielder looks destined to remain in red and blue.

Harmes, who is contracted until the end of 2024, has found the task of securing full-time midfield minutes under Simon Goodwin difficult given the star-studded engine room ensemble of Clayton Oliver, Christian Petracca, Angus Brayshaw and Jack Viney.

After completing his eighth season in the red and blue, Harmes was said to be a "man in demand" as clubs begin circling the hard-nosed midfielder.

As revealed by 7 News' Mitch Cleary, Harmes is said to have met with the Bombers as Brad Scott looks to bolster his midfield pack for 2023.

Melbourne midfielder James Harmes is a man in demand, and has held a conversation with Essendon as he ponders whether to ask for a trade,” Cleary revealed on Monday night.

James Harmes during the 2022 AFL Round 1 match between Melbourne and Western Bulldogs (Photo by Cameron Grimes / Zero Digital Media)

“The 26-year-old still has two years on his Demons deal, so they would need to tick off a move, but his midfield minutes have dried up with Angus Brayshaw's move into the engine room.

Essendon is chasing Gold Coast's Jack Bowes, and will ramp up the Harmes hunt if they miss out on Bowes.”

Harmes has played 143 games for the Demons since his debut in 2015, featuring in the club's premiership side last season as a key cog in Goodwin's system.

Demons list manager Tim Lamb stated Harmes will remain at the club however, having informed Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin of his decision to stay.

"James will be playing for us, that's unequivocal," Lamb told AFL Trade Radio.

"As of this morning 'Harmesy' said to the coach he's gonna be back day 1 of pre-season."

The Dandenong Stingrays product, who turns 27 on Wednesday, played 21 games for Melbourne this year - averaging 16.33 disposals, 3.57 tackles and 3.33 inside 50s.