BALLARAT, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 19: Caleb Daniel (left) and Josh Dunkley of the Bulldogs celebrates during the 2017 AFL round 22 match between the Western Bulldogs and the Port Adelaide Power at Mars Stadium on August 19, 2017 in Ballarat, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images)

The Bulldogs could lose two key members of their squad this off-season, with a "watch this space" put on out-of-contract pair Josh Dunkley and Jason Johannisen.

Dunkley looms as the Dogs' biggest retention target as they now go back to the drawing board after falling short in Saturday night's semi-final against Fremantle, seeing their 2022 campaign come to an end.

The gun midfielder has long been linked to the exit at Whitten Oval, with speculation sparking two years ago when Dunkley requested a trade to Essendon - a move that failed to transpire.

With his contract now reaching its cessation, rival clubs - including Essendon - have emerged as keen suitors in the Gippsland product's services.

Port Adelaide and Brisbane have also been linked to the 25-year-old, with the former expected to meet with Dunkley in the coming weeks, according to 7 News' Mitch Cleary.

"He's put his talks on hold for much of the season. It's going to be crunch time now for Josh Dunkley," Cleary said after Saturday's elimination final.

"I expect him to meet Port Adelaide in the next week or so as he weighs up his future.

"The Power are coming hard, they're chasing a ready-made big-bodied midfielder and Josh Dunkley is in that conversation so watch this space on that one."

News Corp's Jon Ralph has revealed the Power are ready yo offer a singular first-round selection for Dunkley at the trade table, while their offer to the Dogs onballer is believed to be in the vicinity of $650,000 per season.

The Power currently hold Pick 8 for this year's National Draft, while the Alberton club could gain early compensation for the loss of free agent Karl Amon to Hawthorn.

Johannisen is another Bulldog gaining external interest, with the Gold Coast Suns having reportedly tabled a deal to the unrestricted free agent.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 16: Jason Johannisen of the Bulldogs is congratulated by Bailey Dale after kicking a goal during the round 17 AFL match between the Carlton Blues and the Western Bulldogs at Melbourne Cricket Ground on July 16, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Cleary revealed a three-year contract looks to be in the works, with Johannisen seen as an ideal target for the Queensland club following multiple long-term injuries to their defensive stocks.

"Jason Johannisen is being courted by Gold Coast," Cleary said.

"I understand a three-year deal has been put on the table from the Suns

"(The Suns) have got a few players out at half-back, Connor Budarick, Lachie Weller's done an ACL so watch this space on Johannisen as well."

Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge confirmed the club were bracing for a period of uncertainty, with a number of players alongside Dunkley and Johannisen still required to make a call on their futures.

When questioned on the contract situation for several key names, including defender Zaine Cordy, Beveridge was candid in his response.

"There are some unknowns," Beveridge said after the 13-point loss.

"We're desperate, we hope Josh is going to stay, but I can't tell you whether he is or whether he isn't.

"There are a couple of boys in that boat - JJ, Zane, there may be one or two others.

"The scope to move clubs - whether it's free agency or in contract - it's pretty significant. We all have to manage our situation within the ceiling of the salary cap."

The Bulldogs have been able to enjoy a strong season of re-signings, having locked away Bailey Smith, Tim English, Jack Macrae, Caleb Daniel and Bailey Dale, among others, in 2022 alone.