Greater Western Sydney are “more confident than ever” of getting star pair Josh Kelly and Stephen Coniglio to commit to the Giants long term.
However, two big Victorian clubs remain heavily linked to Coniglio who is coming off a career best season.
After losing a number of stars during last season’s trade period, the Giants seem to have freed up enough salary cap space to offer the midfield duo appealing deals.
As they were during the 2018 trade and free agency period, both Carlton and Hawthorn remain in the race for Coniglio’s signature and are observing his season closely.
The Age reported that both clubs were “closely monitoring the movements” of Coniglio, who will become a restricted free agent at the end of the season.
A case can also be made by Fremantle, and they “refuse to be left out of the conversation” for the elite ball-winner, who was born in Western Australia.
Both Kelly and Coniglio will undoubtedly be targeted by various clubs at this year’s trade period, despite their new roles as vice-captains of GWS.
Kelly, who turned 24 last month, isn’t eligible for free agency this October, meaning a club would need to negotiate a deal with the Giants during the trade period.
At the end of 2017 Kelly knocked back a mammoth offer from North Melbourne to sign a two-year extension with the club that drafted him.
Giants coach Leon Cameron said both the club and Kelly’s management team are in a much better position than they were two seasons ago, telling SEN back in January that both parties are actively discussing a better deal for the midfielder.
“We feel as though it is really progressing well, probably a fair bit quicker than what it was a couple of years ago because we’ve had some really good dialogue. His manager’s been fantastic in Paul Connors. And so we feel as though we’re in a really good space and I think it’s going to start heating up,” Cameron told SEN.
“Ideally, every club wants your players like Josh Kelly signed up before the season starts. We’re mindful then the player also wants to take his time as well.”