Swans to swoop on Hawk superstar

SYDNEY has done it again. After trumping Gold Coast and Brisbane for the services of Queenslander Kurt Tippett a year ago, the Swans have now seemingly swooped on Lance Franklin from under the noses of cross-town rival GWS.

After enjoying his second premiership with Hawthorn on Saturday, it appeared just a matter of time before it was announced that the superstar forward (pictured) would be taking the Giants' money and running with them.

But, with the 26-year-old clearly having a desire to move to the Harbour City itself, the Swans feel they can accommodate him.

The Giants yesterday withdrew their offer, the club confirming it was $1.2m per year for six, with free agent Franklin favouring the alleged $1.4m a year for nine from the Swans - and the greater chance of success.

"We put forward what we believed to be both a sensible and attractive offer to Franklin," Giants boss Dave Matthews said in a statement.

"(But) It appears he has a significantly higher financial offer which we would not have been prepared to make based on our due diligence."

Sydney is set to free up money after the retirements of 2012 premiership players Jude Bolton, Marty Mattner and Mitch Morton, and trading out ruckman Shane Mumford and key forward Jesse White.

But, it will not stop the debate over the 9% salary cap allowance due to living costs the two NSW clubs have from raging again, even more than it did 12 months ago when Tippett defected.

Tippett, who may be asked to spend more time in the ruck with Franklin's arrival and the return from injury of Adam Goodes, is believed to be earning $900,000 a year.

The AFL's free agency period begins on Friday.

- TERRY MALLINDER

Hawthorne's outgoing superstar Lance Franklin.
Hawthorne's outgoing superstar Lance Franklin. Getty Images

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