Rebounding Saint Ben Long has told St Kilda powerbrokers of his desire to be traded to the Gold Coast Suns.
Long is without a contract at Moorabbin for the 2023 season, and despite recent meetings with North Melbourne, the 25-year-old looks set to take up an offer from the Carrara club.
As first reported by Peter Ryan of The Age, the Suns' pitch to add the running rebounder to their roster is set to bear fruit.
Uncontracted Saint Ben Long has informed the club he would like to be traded to the Gold Coast Suns. @agerealfooty
— peter ryan (@petryan) September 13, 2022
Since joining St Kilda with the 25th pick of the 2016 National Draft, Long has laced the boots for the Saints on 79 occasions.
The Linton Street side confirmed Long's request on Wednesday afternoon, with list manager James Gallagher claiming an offer to stay on with the Saints still remained before Long.
“Ben has had a contract offer from the Club for a number of months now, so we’re naturally disappointed to receive this news, particularly as we believe Ben has a lot of good football in front of him,” Gallagher said within a prepared statement.
“While the option to stay at the Saints remains, and we would be disappointed to see Ben go, we will work with the Suns to see if an appropriate trade can be reached.”
The Darwin native's recent form has proven indicative of a player finally grabbing his opportunities at the level, with Long producing a staggering 17 marks during the Saints' Round 22 loss to Sydney.
As a product of St. Mary's football factory, a shift to the Sunshine Coast would see Long located much closer to family and friends.
Long was a notable absentee from St Kilda's Best and Fairest count at Crown Casino on Tuesday night.
The recent retirement of mentor Paddy Ryder and the potential departure of friend and former housemate Bradley Hill may well have played a pivotal role in Long looking for opportunities elsewhere.
Gold Coast's desire to land a scything runner off half-back has arisen due to the recent long-term injuries sustained by Connor Budarick, Wil Powell and Lachie Weller.
It is not yet known whether Long's impending arrival has altered the Suns' chase for the signature of Essendon captain, and fellow half-back, Dyson Heppell.
At present, Gold Coast holds picks 7, 25, 32, 33, 43, 51, 68, 69 and 79 in an effort to land the wantaway Saint during the exchange period.