Luke Jackson has put off contract talks with Melbourne until the end of the year, says the club’s head of footy Alan Richardson.
Jackson remains the next significant signature for the Demons after re-signing Angus Brayshaw earlier this week.
However, all the signs don’t read well for Melbourne fans. Jackson is yet to re-commit past 2022 and when asked if anything had changed with that situation, Richardson provided a dire update from a Demons point of view.
“No it hasn’t,” he responded on AFL Nation.
“He’ll wait until the end of the year and then sit down with management and his family. Obviously those conversations have been happening all the way through.
“We’d love him to have already committed, that hasn’t happened. But we respect that he’s a young bloke and he just wants to get his game and his footy out of the way.
“We all hope that it goes really late for him and he ends up signing and committing to us, but we’re unsure.”
Jackson was famously a huge part of Melbourne’s breakthrough Grand Final triumph last year and is putting up career-best numbers in 2022.
The 20-year-old is averaging 14.5 disposals, 10.6 hitouts, 2.4 clearances and 1.9 inside 50s per game in his 16 appearances as a forward/ruck this year leading up to Friday night’s game against Fremantle.
He’s reported to be the subject of a big-money, long-term offer from the Dockers, having grown up and played junior footy in Western Australia.
Despite it looking increasingly unlikely that Jackson will stay, the Demons still have hope.
“We’re really optimistic and hopeful. We know he loves his time here, he loves his teammates, his last couple of weeks have been his best footy, ”Richardson added.
“We’ll just have to wait and see on that one.”
On Richardson’s comments, Gerard Whateley said: “I think that’s been an ongoing conversation that’s now been parked.”
Jackson was drafted with Pick 3 in 2019. He would be the first of his draft class to move clubs if he does leave Melbourne at the conclusion of the season.