Fringe Carlton midfielder Paddy Dow is understood to be receiving interest in his services from rival clubs as his contract nears its expiry.

Dow has pieced together a promising start to his 2023 season at VFL level, averaging 29.7 disposals, 6.9 clearances, 4.7 tackles and 4.9 inside 50s from his seven appearances for the Blues' reserves outfit.

His dominance in the second-tier competition follows his best and fairest-winning campaign for the Blues' VFL side last year, with Dow playing just four games under Michael Voss in 2022 to string together consistent form in the twos.

The former No.3 pick assessed his options on the open market last year alongside fellow onballer Will Setterfield, who secured a trade to Essendon during the off-season exchange window.

While the Blues at the time confirmed Dow's opportunities at the club had "dried up" as he searched for a second club, the young midfielder was unable to find a new home and instead remained at Princes Park for the final year of his contract.

According to News Corp, rival clubs are beginning to show "strong interest" in Dow's services as they monitor the final months of his deal with the Blues. While holding off to offer draft picks in return at the end of last year, interested suitors could be in line to pounce on Dow's services without coughing up draft capital.

Should the Blues sever ties with the Swan Hill native, Dow could be an in-demand name through delisted free agency, while the Blues could look to secure a late draft selection swap as they did in dealing Setterfield to the Bombers instead.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 29: Paddy Dow of the Blues kicks during the round 11 AFL match between the Collingwood Magpies and the Carlton Blues at Melbourne Cricket Ground on May 29, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Dow finds himself toward the back of Carlton's midfield pecking order following the club's aggressive off-season shopping in recent years, having acquired Adam Cerra, George Hewett, Matt Kennedy and Blake Acres since the end of 2017 - the year Dow was drafted to the Blues as the club's opening selection.

Voss has also looked to prioritise new wingman Oliver Hollands and 38-gamer Matt Cottrell as part of his midfield rotation, which is led by top line onballers in skipper Patrick Cripps and young star Sam Walsh.

Dow has played 63 games since joining Carlton, a spell that included a career-high tally of 20 games in his debut season.