6The Gold Coast Suns are "definitely interested" in Richmond star Dustin Martin as former Tigers coach Damien Hardwick edges closer to taking on the vacant Carrara coaching role.

Martin is contracted at Punt Road for next year, which will be the final term of his lucrative seven-year extension that was signed at the end of his Brownlow-winning campaign of 2017.

The triple Norm Smith Medal winner was said to have turned down better offers from rival clubs to remain in the yellow and black for the long term, with Martin only adding to his standing as a champion of the game across the course of the past six seasons.

While contracted until the end of 2024, Martin has been previously linked with a move away from the Melbourne 'fishbowl', with suggestions raised as recent as last year that the Castlemaine junior would be considering an exit.

His long-serving ex-mentor in Hardwick would often come to the defence of the star midfielder and hit out at the murmurs that surrounded Martin's future, with Hardwick telling reporters late last year the 32-year-old was "not going anywhere".

Hardwick could now play a part in prying Martin from the Tigers given his strong ties to the Suns' senior coaching role, with 3AW's Caroline Wilson reporting the Queensland club are keen on the champion Tiger.

The Suns are said to have offered Hardwick a long-term deal to take on the senior coaching role from 2024 following the sacking of Stuart Dew last month.

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 24: Senior coach Damien Hardwick and Dustin Martin of the Tigers speak during a press conference after the 2020 AFL Grand Final match between the Richmond Tigers and the Geelong Cats at The Gabba on October 24, 2020 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Matt Roberts/AFL Photos/via Getty Images)

Speaking on Saturday, Wilson said while she'd be surprised if Martin wasn't lining up for the Tigers next year, the veteran star does have interest from Gold Coast.

"There are a lot of big questions facing Richmond now," Wilson began. "Dustin Martin is a big one.

"Gold Coast are definitely interested, they're not quite sure how they can quite do that deal, but they are interested.

"Personally, I'd be staggered if Dustin Martin didn't play his 300th game in the black and yellow."

The final year of Martin's deal is reported to be north of $1 million - a sum that would present as a difficult figure to fit into the Suns' salary cap. Gold Coast could look to split the remaining money Martin is owed along with additional fees over a multi-year deal, while a trade could have the Tigers paying a portion of Martin's remaining contract.

The Suns are looking to trade their first-round pick this year to bring in a trio of top-rated Academy players through matched bids on draft night, with Richmond already linked to Gold Coast's likely top 10 selection.

Needing to package together a suite of later draft selections, a deal to see Martin move to the Suns could be made with Richmond gaining Gold Coast's first-round pick while also parting with later picks.