CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA - MAY 07: Cooper Stephens, Patrick Dangerfield and Mitch Knevitt of the Cats walk down the race after victory during the round eight AFL match between the Greater Western Sydney Giants and the Geelong Cats at Manuka Oval on May 07, 2022 in Canberra, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/AFL Photos/via Getty Images )

Rival clubs have reportedly begun circling contracted Cat Cooper Stephens as a potential target this trade period, with the youthful midfielder likely to be pushed down Geelong's pecking order.

While the 21-year-old proved able to break through for seven senior appearances this season, the impending arrivals of both Jack Bowes and Tanner Bruhn at the Cattery appear set to place further strain on Stephens' shoulders.

With a solid frame and the ability to influence contests at the coalface, while Stephens' comparative youth at the Cattery sees him sit behind many of Chris Scott's seasoned stars, the former first-round draftee has an obvious upside.

According to reports from Callum Twomey of AFL Media, rival clubs have sounded out Geelong about a potential trade for the Falcons product.

Though Andrew Mackie and the remainder of his list management team are yet to make comment on any prospective deal for the 2019 draftee, Stephens remains contracted to the club for the 2023 season.

Stephens managed to appear for Scotts' clowder between Rounds 8 and 15 this season, compiling averages of 10.8 disposals, 1.5 tackles and two tackles each week.

At present, Geelong's draft hand is comprised of picks 18, 38, 48, 55, 58, 64, 76 and 94, however, this will be whittled back following the completion of deals involving Bruhn and Bowes.