Melbourne forward Tom Sparrow has put an end to speculation regarding his future, with the 23-year-old putting pen to paper on a two-year extension and ending rumours of a potential South Australian homecoming.

Sparrow, a product out of South Adelaide, was previously without a deal beyond this year after last recommitting to the Demons with a two-year extension in 2022.

However, Sparrow has now signed a two-year deal with the Demons, tying him to the oldest club in the land until the cessation of the 2026 season.

“We are thrilled that Tom has agreed to extend his time with us,” Demons list boss Tim Lamb told Melbourne Media on Tuesday afternoon.

"He has developed into a really important player, and we are confident he still has enormous growth in his game.

“Tom is hugely respected by all within the Club. He is the ultimate professional and is a developing leader within our group.

“We look forward to what he can achieve in the next phase of his career.”

The 23-year-old looms as an integral piece in Simon Goodwin's plans this season, with Sparrow tipped for an increase in midfield minutes after a promising opening five years in the red and blue has led to a formidable pre-season so far.

The premiership Demon collected 20 disposals and booted three goals in last week's Community Series win over Carlton at IKON Park, filling a void in the middle left by Clayton Oliver's absence.

Now looking to grow out of a supporting role in the engine room, 2024 is seen as a likely breakout year for Sparrow, who was part of the star-studded 2018 draft class.

The combination of his expected rise in form and contract status could create rival intrigue, with News Corp reporting that the Crows had expressed some level of interest in the local onballer.

Adelaide and Melbourne were in constant discussions through last year's trade window over deals for a trio of players, with Crows forward Shane McAdam seeing his request to move to Melbourne granted.

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 25: (L-R) Angus Brayshaw, Clayton Oliver, Tom Sparrow and Jack Viney of the Demons celebrate during the 2021 Toyota AFL Grand Final match between the Melbourne Demons and the Western Bulldogs at Optus Stadium on September 25, 2021 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

The Crows had interest in Demons swingman Harrison Petty and were among the few clubs said to be keen on Oliver when the superstar Demon's future was seen to be up in the air.

Adelaide are anticipated to rekindle their interest in Petty - another South Australian - this year despite the defender-turned-forward's contract status until the end of 2025, with Sparrow also a potential target for the Crows.

Adelaide have flagged they'll look to be "aggressive" in their list planning across the coming year after missing out on a range of trade targets in 2023.

"We look at all players who are going to improve our list," CEO Tim Silvers told SEN earlier this pre-season when questioned on the club's interest in Oliver.

"Harrison Petty was another player that we certainly looked at, but we didn't want to make trades for the sake of trades.

"We'll be aggressive over the next 12 months and hopefully top up our list, but internally we do think we've got the makings of a terrific list. We've got some terrific young players."

Oliver is set to play in Melbourne's Opening Round clash against Sydney on Thursday night, an appearance recently seen as unlikely given the midfielder's difficult off-season.

The four-time best and fairest winner could slot straight into a starting midfield role in the season opener, likely joining Christian Petracca and Jack Viney in the middle to see Sparrow return to his fourth-string role.

Melbourne will name their squad to travel to Sydney on Wednesday.