Kelly is hoping his decision sways teammate Stephen Coniglio to also put pen to paper.. Picture: Phil Hillyard
Kelly is hoping his decision sways teammate Stephen Coniglio to also put pen to paper.. Picture: Phil Hillyard

Giant blow looms for rival clubs with Kelly set to stay

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.

But GWS appears 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 said.

"I want to win premierships and all those little things add up to that."

The Giants are keen to lock in Josh Kelly. Picture: Michael Klein
The Giants are keen to lock in Josh Kelly. Picture: Michael Klein

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.

- AAP

News Corp Australia

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