More clubs are said to be queueing up for St Kilda unrestricted free agent Josh Battle, who is yet to make a decision on his future at Moorabbin.

Battle has emerged as an in-demand player in 2024 given his free agency status and abilities as a key-position defender, having locked in a role in the Saints' rearguard in recent years alongside Callum Wilkie and Dougal Howard.

The tall backman market is likely to be a busy one again this year as clubs look to settle their backline stocks for the future, with Battle one of the leading options able to fill a lockdown or intercepting role at the top level.

Hawthorn have already been tied to the 25-year-old, who could walk to a rival club without any resistance from the Saints.

According to AFL Media, both Collingwood and Melbourne are also showing some level of interest in the Doveton product.

The Magpies are likely looking to fill a hole opened by the retirement of premiership backman Nathan Murphy, while the Demons are in need of more youthful defensive assets given the current crop of tall defenders under Simon Goodwin.

Steven May, Tom McDonald and Adam Tomlinson are all past the 30-year age barrier, while Jake Lever will be 29 in the early stages of next season.

Josh Battle during the AFL match between Hawthorn and St Kilda in Round 4, 2022 (Photo by Cameron Grimes / Zero Digital Media)

Outside of those four, the Demons have scarce options after opting to use Harrison Petty and Daniel Turner as forwards in recent weeks. Youngster Jed Adams is yet to get a look at senior level, while Blake Howes is used as more of a third or fourth tall option.

Other defenders potentially on offer at the end of this year are Geelong's Jake Kolodjashnij, GWS veteran Nick Haynes, Hawk Denver Grainger-Barras and the aforementioned Howard.

Both Tomlinson and McDonald are currently without deals beyond this year but are proving their value based on their current form, with Tomlinson putting in a starring performance over the weekend against the Saints in his return to Goodwin's side.

McDonald has locked in a role alongside Lever and May this year after returning to the backline, playing some of the best football of his career following a recently plagued run due to injuries.

The Demons are needing to settle a new deal for wingman Ed Langdon, while Turner, Ben Brown, Josch Scache and Jake Melksham are also among those unsigned for 2025.