Jack Martin has played his last game for the Gold Coast. Picture: AAP Images
Jack Martin has played his last game for the Gold Coast. Picture: AAP Images

Martin will be a bargain for Blues

GOLD Coast's Jack Martin remains committed to joining Carlton with the club's first pick in the pre-season draft.

The Blues refused to hand over pick nine in the national draft to the Suns for the talented playmaker and are now in the box seat to land Martin for nothing late next month.

In what shapes as a bargain pick-up for Carlton, club chiefs are confident the 24-year-old will fulfil his immense potential at Ikon Park after seven fruitless years at the Suns.

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And while the Blues were unable to prise Tom Papley out of Sydney, list boss Stephen Silvagni said the club was excited about what they could get with pick nine in the national draft.

"The contingency plan (for missing Papley) was always to go to the draft with pick nine," Silvagni said.

"The top-end of the draft is really exciting. Hence why we really valued pick nine."

Club bosses including coach David Teague strongly endorsed Silvagni's moves throughout the trade period including holding firm on Martin's value at a meeting at the club.

Importantly, Martin and his manager Jason Dover were comfortable with Martin making his way to the Blues via the pre-season draft, leaving the Suns empty-handed for his departure.

Jack Martin is still looking to join Carlton. Picture: AAP Images
Jack Martin is still looking to join Carlton. Picture: AAP Images

Dover said his client wanted to wear navy blue next year.

"They (Melbourne) may have already given me a call and they got a response to say that we're completely focused on Jack playing at Carlton," Dover said.

Carlton offered a future second-round and future-third round pick for Martin but that was knocked back by the Suns who instead demanded a first-round pick for him.

Melbourne will consider trying to enter the frame for Martin and beat the Blues to the punch for the exciting ball-winner with pick No. 2 in the pre-season draft.

But Martin on Thursday remained intent on joining the Blues and could refuse to meet with any other clubs in the lead-up to the pre-season draft, effectively putting him off-limits to rivals.

Martin won't return to the Suns, even if the club considered taking him back with the No. 1 pick in the pre-season draft.

In particular, Martin is excited about playing alongside returning veteran Eddie Betts, wingman Sam Petrevski-Seton, and former schoolboy teammate Patrick Cripps at Carlton next season.

To help safeguard the move, Martin's management can put a high price on his head which could be out of the Demons' reach, unless they shuffle money around to make room in their salary cap.

In contrast, the Blues would be easily able to afford Martin's salary requirements after missing out on Papley.

Silvagni said the Blues were comfortable with their position after a fortnight of talks.

"We put a really good deal to Gold Coast, but having said that they knocked it back, but there's still a process we can go through with Jack, whether that's the national draft or pre-season draft," Silvagni said.

"That's something we will work out in the next three to four weeks."

The Blues were disappointed they couldn't nab Papley before Wednesday night's trade deadline.

But the Swans made it clear they would not let him go unless they secured Essendon spearhead Joe Daniher, who will stay at Tullamarine for 2020.

It means the Blues will complete their homework on this year's top draft prospects including speedy defender Lachie Ash and gun midfielders Sam Flanders and Caleb Serong.

Carlton will also seriously consider placing a bid on lethal small forward and Fremantle academy prospect Liam Henry before the Dockers' pick at No. 10.