Josh Kelly of the Giants.
Josh Kelly of the Giants. DAN HIMBRECHTS

GWS star reportedly offered massive deal by Roos

HIGHLY sought-after GWS midfielder Josh Kelly has been made a monstrous offer by his father's old club North Melbourne.

Sources have confirmed to foxfooty.com.au that a nine-year, multi-million-dollar deal has been put to Kelly's management.

Kelly, 22, has previously indicated a preference to remain at the Giants, but it is understood that as of Tuesday afternoon, he himself has not seen the Kangaroos' offer.

While there is speculation the deal is worth $9 million, foxfooty.com.au has been unable to verify the precise dollar figure. North Melbourne would not comment, but club sources have denied that the amount offered is of that scale.

The apparent reasoning behind the Roos' long-term offer is that Kelly, as a Victorian, would consider a return home at some stage of his career and that the Giants are not in a position to offer a contract length in the same vicinity.

The magnitude of the offer is such that it required the approval of the North Melbourne board, now headed by former player and ex-FFA boss Ben Buckley.

If accepted by Kelly, which is far from assured, it would match the deal taking Lance Franklin from Hawthorn to Sydney in length, but not in dollar amount.

The deal most comparable would be that of Alastair Lynch crossing from Fitzroy to Brisbane in the early 1990s, when Lynch received a 10-year deal, which, due to the massive increase in player payments, ended up being quite moderate and had to be re-negotiated upward.

The Giants had previously been in discussions about a two-year contract extension with Kelly's management.

It is a daring move by North Melbourne - the team Kelly barracked for as a child and the club his father Phil played 61 VFL games for during the 1980s.

North has made strong plays for several out-of-contract players recently, with the retirements of four veterans last year leaving the club in a strong position with its player payments.

Kelly, taken with Pick 2 in the 2013 draft, has developed into one of the Giants' most important assets over the past two seasons.

The hard-running left-footer was one of the Giants' best players in their disappointing Round 1 loss to the Giants, then backed up last weekend with 3.1 from 27 disposals and eight inside 50s against the Suns.

News Corp Australia


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