A Victorian powerhouse has reportedly emerged as a genuine potential landing spot for St Kilda free agent Jade Gresham.
The Saints forward-midfielder entered this season without a contract for the 2024 campaign; free to exercise his rights as a restricted free agent this year.
Following St Kilda's loss at the hands of GWS at the MCG last weekend in their elimination final meeting, the Saints' season is officially over, with list management operations beginning to take priority as player exit interviews are conducted.
Despite being linked to Carlton for the vast majority of this year, Gresham is understood to be receiving Essendon overtures, according to a Jake Niall report in The Age on Monday.
Per Niall, the Blues' interest in Gresham has progressively cooled over the course of the season, with Carlton's bosses apparently disillusioned by the Saint's lofty asking price.
The Bombers were floated as 'a watch' for Gresham by Mitch Cleary in late August, with the Tullamarine club's interest seemingly becoming legitimate.
As Gresham's free agent status is restricted, St Kilda holds the right to match whatever official bid comes the Saint's way, meaning a potential Moorabbin price match would force the acquiring party to consider striking a trade deal.
Ross Lyon and the Saints conducted Gresham's exit interview at St Kilda's headquarters on Monday, with the dynamic hybrid detailing the discussion to the media shortly thereafter.
"[I] had some really good discussion with Ross just before and they're (St Kilda) really keen for me to stay," Gresham told reporters at Moorabbin on Monday.
"No doubt there's interest out there (from other clubs) so [I've] just got to weigh it all up, I've really enjoyed playing here this year. Like I said, we'll work it all out in the next few weeks, [I'll] sit down with my manager and my family."
— 7NEWS Melbourne (@7NewsMelbourne) September 11, 2023
Essendon may end up poaching two of this year's premier free agents, with the Bombers also understood to be keen on luring unsigned North Melbourne defender Ben McKay to the Hangar to play a prominent role in Brad Scott's fledgling backline.
The 2023 free agency period officially commences on October 6, with the start of the trade period subsequently coming on October 9.