Buddy Franklin set to leave Sydney to join Brisbane Lions – Michmutters

Buddy Franklin set to leave Sydney to join Brisbane Lions

Buddy Franklin has reportedly made a decision about his future and is set to turn his back on Sydney for a deal with the Brisbane Lions.

That is according to a report from Nine News Queensland reporter Michael Atkinson, who said he “can confirm the Brisbane Lions are the frontrunner to be his (Franklin’s) club next year”.

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“It’s my understanding that Franklin has informed the Swans that he won’t be playing in Sydney next year,” he continued.

“Franklin and his wife Jesinta have a desire to move their family up to Queensland to be closer to family on the Gold Coast. But it’s not the Suns where he wants to keep playing, Buddy wants to win more premierships and he’s identified Brisbane as the club most likely to help him achieve that goal.”

The report continues the Lions and Franklin’s management have already entered into discussions.

Atkinson said there is still some time to go for this deal to be actioned as no club can put a deal to Franklin until the trade period begins.

Franklin is a restricted free agent, meaning the Swans are able to match the bid.

Franklin is a restricted free agent because he is in his ninth season for the Swans and in the top 25 per cent of the club’s earners.

Any players outside the top quarter of earners or who have played 10 seasons at a single club will be unrestricted free agents.

It’s expected forward Dan McStay will likely head south as he has been strongly linked to a five-year $3 million deal at Collingwood.

The report has been immediately countered by Swans CEO Tom Harley who spoke off-air on 3AW’s Sportsday after an interview and said it was “news to him”.

But during the interview, he’d said: “There’s nothing to announce, but there’s nothing untoward at the same time (on Franklin’s future).

“There’s no hurry from our point of view and no hurry from his point of view.

“Things are all tracking well at the moment.”

Franklin and his wife Jesinta have made plenty of headlines in recent months after the bombshell news the 35-year-old believed the Swans were lowballing him.

Franklin joined the Swans from Hawthorn in 2014 on a nine-year $10 million deal but the star forward was looking for $700,000 per season.

While Franklin has been injury prone in recent years, the scenes of fans flooding onto the SCG when he kicked his 1000th career goal earlier this year showed he is still one of the sport’s biggest drawcards.

But reports of a move out of Sydney dominated headlines in early July and Jesinta told Channel 7’s The Morning Show “we’ve got options” when questioned about the speculation.

“There’s always rumors and speculation swirling around Bud, and I think when he’s coming to the end of such an amazing contract, this was always going to happen,” she said.

“But I think they’re just that; they’re rumors and they’re speculation.

“We’re really happy in Sydney – at the moment – ​​and we’ve got our life set up here, so we’ll just have to see what happens.

“I still feel like he’s got lots to give, and he still feels like he’s got great footy (left in him), and he feels so good.

“He keeps saying, ‘I feel like I’m 21,’ which is great. And the stats really show that as well.”

In May, Jesinta also said: “I think there’s still a lot of good football left in him, but it’s our dream, whether that’s in five years or 10 years or whenever, to be able to live closer to one of the grandparents and have quality time with them.”

Jesinta Franklin was the 2010 Miss Universe Australia and grew up on the Gold Coast.

The couple also own a beachside apartment just south of the Gold Coast and rumors are swirling they’re set to sell their Sydney home.

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