Dashing Essendon defender Adam Saad is set to join his third AFL club after nominating Carlton as his destination of choice.
- The Bombers offered Adam Saad a lucrative contract, but he has told the club he wants a move to Carlton
- Bombers recruiting manager Adrian Dodoro says the club has an “expectation of compelling compensation” for Saad
- Conor McKenna has already left Essendon, while the futures of Joe Daniher and Orazio Fantasia are still unsettled
Saad, who has played 61 games for the Bombers after 48 at Gold Coast, is out of contract and is in the process of informing Essendon of his wish to leave.
The 26-year-old averaged a career-high 18.9 disposals per game this season despite the shortened game length, and his likely departure is another big blow to Essendon’s hopes of turning around a poor 2020.
The Bombers have already lost fellow rebounding defender Conor McKenna to retirement, while free agent Joe Daniher and forward Orazio Fantasia could also be on the move.
Daniher has been heavily linked to the Brisbane Lions, while Fantasia could return home to South Australia despite being contracted for 2021.
Saad is set to earn a five-year deal at Carlton, assuming a trade with Essendon can be done.
The Bombers are likely to request Carlton’s first-round draft pick.
“We put forward a significant offer to Adam and we are disappointed in his decision to pursue a playing future elsewhere,” Essendon’s recruiting manager Adrian Dodoro said
“Although we wish Adam all the best, he is not a free agent and therefore a suitable trade will need to be forthcoming from Carlton. Clearly, there is an expectation of compelling compensation for a player of Adam’s calibre.”
Saad’s decision is another big boost for the Blues, who have also attracted GWS free agent Zac Williams.
Meanwhile, Jackson Hately is the latest player to want out of the Giants, with the midfielder requesting a trade to Adelaide.
Taken at pick 14 in the 2018 draft, Hately is determined to return to his home state and has picked the Crows as his desired club.