St Kilda have reportedly emerged as a contender to secure Conor McKenna's signature, as the speedy Irishman seeks a return to the AFL.

The 26-year-old played 79 games for Essendon between 2015-2020, before choosing to retire and move back to Ireland.

After a successful stint playing Gaelic football back in Ireland, McKenna is now reportedly keen to resurrect his AFL career, with the Saints emerging as a late contender for his services, per reports from 7 News' Mitch Cleary.

Former club Essendon, alongside Brisbane and Port Adelaide, have all reportedly shown interest in the defender.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 23: Conor McKenna of the Bombers is tackled by Josh Thomas of the Magpies during the 2019 AFL round 23 match between the Collingwood Magpies and the Essendon Bombers at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on August 23, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

St Kilda has emerged as a late contender for Irishman Conor McKenna,” Cleary said on 7 News.

“The speedster wants to return to the AFL, he has other interest from Brisbane, Port Adelaide and former club Essendon, Geelong though, are now seen as outsiders.

“McKenna is weighing up his call this week, his connection at Moorabbin is through Irish fitness boss Nick Walsh, former Essendon teammate Brendon Goddard, now a Saints development coach.”

McKenna can return to the AFL through either the rookie draft, set to be held on November 20, or through the Pre-Season Supplementary Selection Period.