MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 14: Riley Bonner of the Power warms up before the round 22 AFL match between the Essendon Bombers and the Port Adelaide Power at Marvel Stadium on August 14, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)

Port Adelaide defender Riley Bonner has opened up on the off-season that saw his name linked to a move to North Melbourne, with the 25-year-old deciding not to "take any notice" of the speculation and "outside noise".

Bonner, who was contacted for 2023, was tied into trade rumours around Jason Horne-Francis' move to Alberton after the former No.1 requested a trade to Port Adelaide at the end of last season.

To secure Horne-Francis, the Power was required to fork up a substantial trade package, with many believing a player might be needed to sweeten the deal and satisfy the rebuilding Roos.

Instead, Port Adelaide handed over Picks 8, 43, 53, 57 as well as future 1st, future 2nd and future 3rd selections in a four-way trade that also involved GWS and West Coast.

Along with the arrival of Horne-Francis would be the acquisition of Junior Rioli from the Eagles, with the Power coming away big winners from the negotiations in hitting two birds with one stone.

But in the lead-up to an agreed deal, Bonner's name was linked to an Arden Street switch with reports suggesting the Power were open to trading their half-back.

Speaking to News Corp, Bonner said the speculation surrounding his future wasn't a distraction, with the Goodwood product's priorities also lying with Port Adelaide.

"We know what footy is like these days, it's a bit of a business," Bonner said.

"People are looking to move or come back home like the two boys we picked up.

"But my sole focus was to stay in Adelaide and play for Port Adelaide in 2023 so speculation, rumours, that's all outside noise and my focus was to get my body right and come back and hit the ground running in pre-season.

"I guess seeing your name in the media it is either a good thing or a bad thing but I didn't really take any notice of it.

"If it was to happen it would have had to come through my manager and myself and I didn't hear any noise or anything like that.

"It is a good feeling, knowing that you are wanted and needed in the team I guess."

While a decision on his future wasn't required last year, Bonner will be needing to make a call on a new contract in 2023, with his current deal set to expire at the cessation of this season.

Embed from Getty Images

Bonner is among nine Port Adelaide free agents for 2023, a league-high total with the likes of Charlie Dixon, Tom Jonas and Travis Boak also eligible to exercise their rights as free agents this year.

Scott Lycett, Francis Evans, Trent Dumont, Trent McKenzie and Dylan Williams are also listed as free agents in 2023, while close to a dozen more players are off-contract at Alberton.

Bonner has continued to fight for his spot under Ken Hinkley in recent seasons, with his 2022 games tally of 17 matches his highest for a single season since 2019.

Since joining the Power through the 2015 National Draft, the South Australian has played 82 games at AFL level, recording a career average of 17.85 disposals and 4.52 marks per game.

He'll be looking to impress over the pre-season ahead of his contract year, wanting to book himself a spot in Hinkley's 22 prior to the Power's Round 1 bout with Brisbane at Adelaide Oval on Saturday, March 18.