Jack Martin will become a Carlton player at the pre-season draft after Gold Coast conceded they would not use their first pick to keep him against his wishes.
The out-of-contract forward-midfielder failed in his bid to switch to the Blues during the trade period when Carlton list chief Stephen Silvagni turned down an exchange of first-round picks that included Martin.
Melbourne has a selection before the Blues at Friday’s pre-season draft but a hefty contract demand made by Martin – believed to be for five years – will ensure the 24-year-old finds a new AFL home at Princes Park.
“Obviously we’re hopeful we can get him … he’s been through a bit of a journey over the last six to eight weeks,” Silvagni said.
“But hopefully it works out for Jack and us.
“It has been tough for him and his partner, but we’ve remained in contact and we’re hopeful we can get him in.
“There’s no guarantees in this game but we think we’re in a good position.”
The Suns paid a hefty price to recruit Martin in 2012 via the short-lived mini-draft devised to help GWS build their list.
Gold Coast gave pick No.2 to the Giants and also switched end-of-first-round compensation picks to seal the deal.
The livewire forward managed 97 AFL games but was dogged by injury and never reached the heights he or the Suns had hoped for.
Even so, Gold Coast had threatened to use their first pick at the pre-season draft to keep Martin, but they no longer have that first call after filling their list quota at the national draft.
“We made a decision that if the players we wanted to select, who were going to take us forward, were available, that we’d fill our list,” Suns list chief Craig Cameron said.
“It’s really important for our footy club to move forward and bring through guys who want to take the footy club forward.
“We’d like to wish Jack well … he’ll forever be welcomed back.”
The rookie draft will also be held on Friday morning with experienced players like Michael Hartley (Essendon), Sam Murray (Collingwood), Lachie Henderson (Geelong) and Daniel Menzel (Sydney) hopeful of lifelines.