North Melbourne has joined Carlton in the race to sign gun Sydney small forward Tom Papley, according to AFL.com.au.
The Blues have made it known of their intentions to add to their small forward ranks this off-season, and will attempt to pry Papley from the Swans, but it is believed that the Kangaroos have joined in the hunt and are monitoring the situation.
Rhyce Shaw has a close connection with Papley from his time at the Swans as an assistant coach, and could use that as an advantage in any negotiations.
The Swans remain confident of retaining Papley, and are in the box seat after it was revealed to AFL.com.au that the 23-year-old is contracted to the club until the end of 2023 after reaching a trigger clause.
Clubs have felt that Papley has seemed unsettled over the last 12 months in Sydney despite not formally requesting a trade.
It is unclear whether the changes within North Melbourne’s recruiting and list management department will affect the interest they have in Papley.
The Kangaroos currently hold pick seven at the AFL Draft, with Carlton’s first pick coming at number eight in the live trade made with Adelaide, and that could play a key part in any deal.
Papley has played 82 games for the Swans in four seasons with the club, kicking 120 goals in that time.
He also enjoyed his best season in 2019, kicking 37 goals from 22 games which led the Swans’ goal-kicking for the season.