MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 14: Travis Cloke of the Magpies, who found himself in trouble with AFL for wearing non-approved gloves during the game on the weekend, marks the ball during a Collingwood Magpies training session at Gosch's Paddock on July 14, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

Tigers leading the race for Cloke

Richmond is reportedly leading the race for out of favour Collingwood forward, Travis Cloke.

News Limited reported on Thursday that Cloke’s father and his manager, David, has held talks with the Tigers about a possible trade.

The Western Bulldogs have previously thought to have been the front runners for Cloke’s signature, particularly given the long-term injury to forward Jack Redpath.

Richmond coach Damien Hardwick refused to give anything away when quizzed on Cloke’s playing future this morning.

“Absolutely. He’s hurt us a number of times over the course of his career, hasn’t he?” Hardwick told reporters on Thursday.

“I think funnily enough he was probably Alex (Rance’s) biggest nemesis there for a while. Alex has managed to move above him over the last couple of years, but he’s a great player there’s no doubt about that.

“But from our point of view we keep our cards pretty close to our chest.”

Meanwhile, Richmond legend Kevin Bartlett says Cloke could be the “missing piece of the jigsaw puzzle@ for the Tigers.

“I believe Cloke needs a new home and environment and a lot of love for he seems a confused footballer to me,” Bartlett said on SEN on Thursday morning.

“And surely he would be comfortable going to a club that his father once captained.

“The Tigers big man forward set-up hasn’t clicked with Tyrone Vickery and Ben Griffiths in recent years and going on ‘Dimma’ Hardwick’s comments during the week that Richmond not only would be playing finals in 2017 but winning finals as well, surely that tells us he has a new forward line set-up going forward.

“The Tigers missed out on Cloke 11 years ago, it’s better late than never for he just might be the missing piece of the jigsaw puzzle that sees the Tigers winning a final.”

Cloke has managed just 12 games this season, after being dropped from the senior side on three separate occasions.