Essendon Bombers Training Session
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 19: Conor McKenna of the Bombers in action during the Essendon Bombers training session at The Hangar on March 19, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Chris Fagan's Brisbane side have emerged as the favourites to lure former Essendon halfback Conor McKenna back to AFL after two years out of the sport.

The 26-year-old signalled his intent to return to Australia after moving back home to Ireland in 2020 due to homesickness, plying his trade in Gaelic football with boyhood club Tyrone.

However, the 26-year-old won't be going back to The Hangar on his arrival back down under, with the Lions reportedly the front runners according to The Herald Sun's Jay Clark.

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When the news broke that McKenna would be seeking a route back into the AFL, Geelong were flagged as the club sounding out the most interest in the dashing defender's services to complement their star-studded lineup.

But with Daniel Rich being 32 years of age, a replacement for the reliable defender could very well be the Irishman, with McKenna's run off halfback a big asset for Brisbane as they look to keep going at the top-end of the ladder.

Port Adelaide are also linked with the halfback and for good reason considering gut-runner Karl Amon has opted to exercise his rights as a free agent , declaring Hawthorn as his preferred destination.

Prior to his departure back home, McKenna was a big part of Essendon's setup for the four seasons before he decided to head back home.

McKenna played 79 games for the Bombers after being taken at Pick 62 in the 2014 Rookie Draft, finding a home across halfback and being one of the speediest players in the league.

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In his final full season with Essendon in 2019, he put up some pretty impressive numbers averaging 20.8 disposals and 4.5 rebound 50s as well as being ranked first across the entire competition for bounces.

The 26-year-old will be able to be scooped up through the National Rookie Draft or the Supplementary Selection Period (SSP) over the off-season and will reportedly have til November to make a decision on his future.