This is the second straight year that rival clubs have come hard for West Coast defender Tom Barrass.

First, it was Sydney last year, who were unsuccessful in prying the Eagles premiership player to the Eastern board.

Now, the Western Bulldogs are chucking their hat in the ring alongside Collingwood.

Barrass, 28, is contracted until the end of 2027 before becoming an unrestricted free agent, meaning if clubs were to broker a deal before then, it would need to be a healthy package that West Coast could not refuse.

As for the Bulldogs, who are likely to receive a top-10 pick for Bailey Smith, their prospect of landing the key defender becomes interesting.

Speaking on Fox Footy's Midweek Tackle, Jon Ralph believes that the potential draft return from Smith could be used to help lure Barrass east.

“We wrote a couple of months back that the Dogs were really heavily into Tom Barrass,” Ralph told Midweek Tackle.

“I think they (the Bulldogs) absolutely knew that Bailey was going, so that's why they gave up (picks) 10, 17 and that future first for Ryley Sanders, who's coming along nicely — he's the inside midfielder that Bailey potentially wasn't in the last couple of years.

“They get (for example) pick 6 from Hawthorn, or they get a future first or whatever it is (in a Smith trade) — you trade that for Tom Barrass, who's turning 29, and I think he's open to at least considering it.

“So, you've got Liam Jones, you've got Tom Barrass, you've got an elite midfield ... It's the perfect time for them to give up a first-rounder for a bloke who might have four or five years left.”

The Bulldogs clearly believe their list is for the here and now, and with their ageing key defensive pillars in Liam Jones (33) and Alex Keath (32), they need to bolster their profile with ready-made players.

Barrass has since responded to reports of a potential Eagles exit, stating he seeks to remain with West Coast unless things change from the club's point of view.

Quoted by 7 News reporter Ryan Daniels, the key defender has said any rumour surrounding his future is "hardly a story".

"I'm a West Coast Eagles player, and unless the rug gets pulled out from under my feet I'll stay that way.

"It happens every year, and it's hardly a story - AFL clubs chasing established key position player - it's just the currency of football, so I wouldn't be reading into it too much".