Richmond has decisively quashed any rumours suggesting that star player Shai Bolton might be traded back to his home state of Western Australia, despite reported interest from Fremantle Dockers.

Bolton, a vital player for the Tigers, is contracted until 2028. Recent speculation suggested that Fremantle was planning a major trade push for the dynamic midfielder-forward, hoping to lure him back home, along with out-of-contract fellow West Australian Liam Baker.

However, Richmond's GM of football performance, Tim Livingstone, has firmly dismissed these reports, labelling them as mere "rumours."

"Seventeen clubs would be interested in Shai, wouldn't they?" Livingstone remarked on SEN Sportsday.

"He's a star player, he's loved at our club, and he loves being at our club. He's a contracted player, so I'm not interested in getting involved in that sort of rumour."

When asked directly if Bolton would be traded under any circumstance, Livingstone's response was unequivocal: "Not at all."

Bolton's importance to the Tigers was on full display during last night's eight-point victory over the Adelaide Crows. Returning from concussion, he collected 20 disposals, had seven clearances, and could have hit the scoreboard significantly, instead finishing with three behinds.

Despite Fremantle's reported interest and their considerable draft capital - holding multiple first-round picks from trades with rival clubs - Richmond remains steadfast.

The Dockers' ambitious plans reportedly include pursuing Bolton in a package with Liam Baker, another West Australian and two-time premiership player whose contract with Richmond expires at the end of the season.

Shai Bolton and Liam Baker celebrate during the 2022 AFL Round 19 match between Richmond and Fremantle (Photo by Cameron Grimes / Zero Digital Media)

The prospect of losing Bolton, considered one of the club's premier talents especially with veteran Dustin Martin nearing the twilight of his career, is a non-starter for Richmond. The club views Bolton as central to their ongoing rebuild and future success.

Kane Cornes, commenting on the potential trade, noted that Richmond would only consider such a move if Fremantle offered an extraordinary deal. However, given Bolton's contract status and the club's internal priorities, such a scenario seems unlikely.

Richmond's rejection of the trade rumours highlights their commitment to retaining their top talent during their rebuilding phase, with key players like Bolton, Tim Taranto and Jacob Hopper at the forefront.