MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 15: Mitch Duncan of the Cats celebrates during the 2017 AFL Second Semi Final match between the Geelong Cats and the Sydney Swans at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 15, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images)

The Gold Coast Suns will ask for Mitch Duncan in exchange for inaugural captain Gary Ablett, who officially requested a trade back to the Cats yesterday.

Fairfax Media¬†reports the Suns’ main target is Duncan but are willing to settle for livewire forward Nakia Cockatoo and for the Cats to pay a portion of Ablett’s front-ended contract.

Ablett, who has played 110 games for the expansion club, is contracted until the end of next season.

The dual Brownlow medallist has been unsettled for a while and reportedly requested a trade back to Geelong last year.

The Suns denied his request, but their decision did not stop preliminary trade discussions from happening.

Duncan was reportedly part of trade negotiations last year, but Geelong are likely to trade the midfielder after his career-best year.

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Likewise, Nakia Cockatoo is seen as a vital part of Geelong’s future and is unlikely to be part of any trade.

The Suns’ extraordinary price means they are not afraid to play hardball, as player retention becomes an issue.

Last year they secured picks 7 and 10 from Richmond for Dion Prestia and in 2015 they received pick 10 and a second-round pick for Charlie Dixon.

The club has little incentive to facilitate a trade, given Ablett is contracted and still one of the Suns’ best players, leading the club’s Brownlow tally despite only playing 14 games.

In a statement, Gold Coast chief executive Mark Evans said Ablett would not be traded unless the club received a satisfactory offer.

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“We indicated to Gary and his manager Liam Pickering that there are conditions that will need to be met for the Gold Coast if this is to be achieved,” the statement read.

“[Gold Coast list manager] Scott Clayton will be available to meet with Liam and Geelong to ensure these conditions are met.”

Ablett has insisted he will not play for the Suns next year, and has said he would retire if the clubs cannot agree to a trade.

The AFL trade period begins on October 9.