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Giants set to retain Kelly

February 26, 2019 11:00 am in by

GWS superstar Josh Kelly appears increasingly likely to remain a Giant with potential suitors expecting the gun midfielder to extend his contract.

The Giants fended off significant interest from rival clubs – including a nine-year, $10 million offer from North Melbourne – to re-sign Kelly on a two-year deal in 2017.

A similar bidding frenzy had loomed this year for the 24-year-old, who has stamped himself as one of the game’s premier midfielders.

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But GWS appear to be in the box seat to retain the Victoria native, who is believed to have indicated through his manager that he wants to stay with the Giants.

Another two-year deal would take Kelly through to the end of the 2021 season when he would become eligible for free agency.

An All-Australian and club best-and-fairest winner in 2017, the Giants’ vice-captain earlier this month said he was strongly invested in the club.

“I want this club to be successful because right now, and there’s a good chance into the future, I’m going to be a Giants player,” he told the Herald Sun.

“I want to win premierships, and all those little things add up to that.”

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Coach Leon Cameron last month said contract negotiations with Kelly were in a “really good position” and well ahead of where they had been in 2017.

“Two years ago, it probably took until two-thirds of the way through the year,” he said.

“Hopefully from my point of view, from a selfish point of view, we can get it done before the season starts.”

GWS cleared millions in salary cap space over the 2018 off-season, trading away Dylan Shiel (Essendon), Rory Lobb (Fremantle), Will Setterfield (Carlton) and Tom Scully (Hawthorn).

That extra room might be needed to re-sign A-graders Kelly and Stephen Coniglio, as well as foundation players Adam Tomlinson and Nick Haynes.

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© AAP 2019

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