The Fremantle Dockers are reportedly gearing up for a significant trade push, setting their sights on Richmond Tigers' dynamic midfielder-forward Shai Bolton and versatile small Liam Baker, per Xander McGuire on 9NEWS.

Bolton, from Katanning, 300km from Perth, and Baker, from Pingaring in the Wheatbelt region of Western Australia, are said to be genuinely considering the move back home.

Selected with Pick 29 in the 2016 national draft, Bolton made himself a key figure in two of Richmond's three flags under Damien Hardwick, earning All-Australian recognition in 2022 for his electrifying small forward presence.

He kicked 31 goals, averaged 22 disposals and polled 14 Brownlow votes last season, but has struggled to match that production this season as Richmond struggle with just one win from 12 outings in 2024.

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

He remains contracted with the club until the end of 2028 and his potential departure would be a significant shift for the Tigers, who are relying on ripe stars like Bolton to lead Richmond through their rebuilding phase.

Adding to Fremantle's ambitious plans is their pursuit of Liam Baker, also a two-time premiership player with Richmond.

Baker, whose contract expires at the end of this season, has been linked with a return to Western Australia for a while now, attracting interest from both Fremantle and the West Coast Eagles.

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

While the Eagles hold some trade leverage with the emergence of generational gem Harley Reid, the Dockers are well suited to make a play themselves, holding three first-round picks thanks to previous trades with Adelaide and Collingwood.

This war chest of draft capital allows them flexibility to negotiate a trade for Bolton that many clubs can't, since it would take a significant offer to pry him from Richmond.

Dockers chair Chris Sutherland has previously said the club are open to using their draft haul however they see fit, emphasising the benefit of using the picks to acquire potential superstars of the draft, or trading them for ready-made talent.

In what has been a bounce-back season for Fremantle under coach Justin Longmuir, fresh off a 92-point dismantling of a top four contender, the acquisition of Bolton and Baker would mark a significant step in their future premiership contention, adding two stars to their collection of talent including Caleb Serong, Andrew Brayshaw, Luke Jackson, Hayden Young and others.