MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 20: Dustin Martin of the Tigers runs with the ball during the round 22 AFL match between the Richmond Tigers and the St Kilda Saints at Melbourne Cricket Ground on August 20, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

Former Essendon champion and current SEN and Channel Seven broadcaster, Tim Watson, believes Dustin Martin will leave Richmond at the end of the season.

Reports emerged yesterday that Martin has put contract talks on hold with the Tigers until the end of the season, as speculation on his future mounts.

Martin will be a restricted free agent at the end of the season and is believed to have already attracted interest from several rival clubs, including St Kilda.

Watson told SEN on Tuesday morning he expects Martin will walk out on the club.

“When you put off negotiations at this stage, it means one thing (he is going),” Watson said.

“Look at (Patrick) Dangerfield last year, all year – deny, deny … it was already done.

“There are clubs that have been circling Dustin Martin for a couple of years.

“It would be my belief that there is already a deal that has already been agreed in principle somewhere…I would think he is staying in Victoria.”

Watson said Martin is in the four best midfielders in the competition at the moment.

“The four very good very, very, very good midfielders – Dangerfield, Martin, Pendlebury at 29, Josh Kennedy in Sydney at 29 – you look at his stats over the past three years and match them against those other three players, its stands up,” Watson said.

“60 goals he has kicked in the past three years, only Dangerfield has kicked more at 62.

“I don’t think anyone that has watched Dusty play would say that he hasn’t got the capability to influence the team more than any other player on the ground when he’s in full swing.”