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The race to secure Jake Carlisle’s services in 2016 have yet another bidder, with St Kilda believed to be chasing the prized tall.
The Saints are understood to have placed themselves in the mix to land the out-of-contract Essendon defender, who is among the most highly sought-after players yet to sign for next year.
St Kilda are not sure what chance they stand of landing Carlisle, and are acutely aware of the competition they face. Carlton, the Western Bulldogs, North Melbourne and Fremantle have also been linked to Carlisle, whose stocks rose following the re-signing of Alex Rance by Richmond in the middle of the year.
The Dockers have publicly stated though that they do not expect him to shift from Victoria. A source close to the Bombers has suggested that Carlisle is seeking close to $700,000 next year, with Essendon reluctant to part with such a sizeable chunk of their salary cap.
Essendon remain confident of keeping Carlisle, who returned to the seniors last week following an ankle injury, playing in defence against both the Western Bulldogs and Greater Western Sydney after spending the majority of the last two seasons as a forward.
His availability for 2016 would also hinge on the outcome of the impending World Anti-Doping Agency appeal into the March decision which found that there was insufficient evidence to prove to “comfortable satisfaction” that Carlisle and 33 current and former Dons teammates had taken banned peptide thymosin beta-4. Despite the rise of Josh Bruce and the high hopes placed in Paddy McCartin and Hugh Goddard, St Kilda’s key position stocks are likely to take a hit in coming years given the ages of Sam Fisher, 33, and Nick Riewoldt, 32.
Essendon are also yet to re-sign midfielder Jake Melksham and ruckman Tom Bellchambers, who is a restricted free agent.
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