Speaking this afternoon to Damian Barrett and Terry Tan on AFL Trade Radio, Sydney Swans Head of Football Tom Harley confirmed the Swans' interest in Collingwood's out-of-contract defender Tom Langdon.
Sydney's interest was initially reported over a week ago by Barrett, receiving a strong rebuke from Collingwood president Eddie McGuire on Triple M, declaring that he would not allow Langdon to be traded to the Swans.
Since then, Tom Langdon had a medical test with the Swans on Tuesday morning, before leaving the country for his end-of-season trip to Africa, leaving his agent and two football clubs to come to terms.
Sydney football boss Tom Harley said that Swans interest in the defender is real, and they’re looking forward to adding him to the squad.
“We conducted it [the medical] yesterday, and he headed overseas shortly after that, with his brother Ed, who plays for Fremantle, to spend a bit of time in Africa.
“We’ve got an interest there, no further development but he’s certainly a player we’re interested in.
“He can add to our back-half and add a bit more flexibility for some our back-half, mid types, who can then spend a bit more time through the middle of the ground where we have a target there for required depth.
“We look forward to seeing how that progresses, but nothing rock solid at the minute.”
Harley confirmed the Swans had always been interested in Langdon but was surprised by the rapid advance over the last fortnight.
“He’s one of those ones that we’ve monitored as a result of being an out of contract player, and then it’s probably progressed a big quicker than we thought over the last two-to-three weeks.
“It’s important to do all your due diligence with medicals and interviews and the like, and we’ve done that in the last couple of days.
“It’s fair to say it’s ramped up in the recent future, but we’ve had our eye on him all year.”
Given the addition of Tom Langdon potentially frees up several of the Swans half-back types to spend more time in the midfield, Harley said he was looking forward to seeing Callum Mills, Zak Jones and Jake Lloyd spend some time there.
“We think we’ve got a couple of good, young developing running players in (Ryley) Stoddart and (Matthew) Ling with our first pick last year.
“Getting midfield depth is important. We thought we were really well served this year on the wing through (Ollie) Florent and (Harry) Cunningham.
“We can inject (Zak) Jones in there (the midfield) more often, and we think (Callum) Mills is a really good midfielder, that’s what we drafted him as, even though he’s a really good half-back.
“We think Tom provides the flexibility for us.”
One of the more surprising trade requests in recent years has been from Swan life-time member Dan Hannebery, who played what’s likely to be his last game for the club in the Swans’ Elimination Final loss to the Greater Western Sydney Giants.
Harley confirmed that they’re expecting the trade with St Kilda to be completed soon, with the Saints finalising theirs with the Eagles for Tom Hickey.
“We would like to think it’s pretty close to done. Kinnear Beatson and James Gallagher, respective list managers, met again this afternoon.
“The Saints have had a little bit on the go with the Hickey deal to West Coast, and we obviously had a bit to do with the Gary Rohan, Ryan Clarke and some pick swaps as well.
“We would expect something to be done for sure.”
With enigmatic forward Gary Rohan leaving the club for Geelong, and North Melbourne’s developing midfielder Ryan Clarke joining the team, Harley confirmed the club had their eye on Clarke for a long time.
“We liked him (Clarke) as a kid in the draft three years ago and he went to North with pick 31 and we’ve tracked him since.
“He started to rack up some pretty good numbers towards the end of the year and averaged around 21 for the season.
“We see him playing in our side straight away with a targeted approach.
“It’s been a really well-handled transaction between Geelong and Sydney and Gary (Rohan), and that enabled us to do the Ryan Clarke deal, so we see it as pretty much a swap – Gary for Ryan.”
While Nic Newman was originally touted as the preferred deal from the Swans in the Ryan Clarke deal, Tom Harley said that it was unlikely to happen at the start of the trade week.
Since then, the Kangaroos have brought in Jared Polec and Jasper Pittard, both capable of playing in defence and the midfield, while Nic Newman remains in limbo.
Harley confirmed that there’s been little interest in Nic Newman.
“He doesn’t have a contract from us at this stage, so he’s an out of contract player.
“That doesn’t mean that he won’t come back to the footy club.
“Both parties agreed to explore options, North looked like a live one there for a period of time, and it was looking like the old straight swap, and we could spoke about that earlier in the week.
“From what we understand, that’s not going to happen with North Melbourne.
“We’ll look at what numbers we’ve got, who we bring in, what needs we still feel we need to satisfy and we’ll keep an open mind with regards to him.”
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