Collingwood expects Sydney to pay a high price for Taylor Adams

Collingwood football boss Graham Wright says the Magpies will be “pragmatic and real” about vice-captain Taylor Adams’ desire to leave for the Swans but will drive a hard bargain to make the deal happen.

The 30-year-old requested a trade to Sydney on Sunday, where he has reportedly been offered a three-year deal and football boss Charlie Gardiner says while interest Adams “evolved quite late” they would be thrilled to add his experience to their midfield..

Wright said while he was surprised by Adams’ request, he understood why the experienced midfielder was keen to move back to Sydney after he began his career with GWS.

“We had some good conversations at the back end of last week … (Adams) has gone overseas at the moment, so obviously he informed us (on Sunday) and we’ll see how we go,” Wright said.

“I think all players have got a right to explore, they’ve only got a certain amount of time in the game.

“He’s contracted … but we’re pretty pragmatic and real about it, and we’ve had some good conversations.”

Gardiner said the 30-year-old would provide valuable experience to what he called the AFL’s youngest midfield group, but denied the Swans had begun to pursue Adams only due to Callum Mill’s long-term shoulder injury.

The Sydney co-captain damaged the rotator cuff in his left shoulder during Mad Monday celebrations, requiring surgery which is set to sideline him well into next season.

“No, not really … I think (Mills’) situation is unfortunate, we don’t know yet a definitive timeline on him, but we’re confident he’ll get back and continue to play at a really high level,” Gardiner said.

“We know that (Mills) is an elite midfielder, but as I just mentioned in terms of the overall demographics of our squad, we thought we were in a position to add some experience to it, and that’s what we’ll be looking at doing (with Adams).

“We still need to work with Collingwood on that, but I think we’ve seen clubs do that in the past in terms of bringing in some maturity around a young, developing midfield group, we’ve seen Jordan Lewis do it at Melbourne, Sam Mitchell at West Coast, Jaeger O’Meara at Fremantle … we think he’ll provide some great leadership to our young players.”

Wright said there was no doubt Adams was still a best 22 player at Collingwood, but knew he was eager to play more in the midfield after spending large portions of the season at half-forward following the recruitment of Tom Mitchell and Nick Daicos’ move into the middle.

“He would’ve been in our grand final team if he was fit and available, obviously injury kept him out of that,” Wright said.

“He’d like to play more midfield time … in our conversations last week with Fly and myself we were really open about that.

“We’d like to think (the Swans will pay a high price) … Taylor’s part of our leadership group, as I said would’ve been in our grand final team, from our perspective he’s a required player but we’ll have conversations with Sydney and we’ll see how it goes.”

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