Fantasia to ask Bombers for trade
ESSENDON livewire Orazio Fantasia is expected to request a trade to a South Australian club after cashing in on a Bombers deal in which he was paid a significant chunk of his wage up front.
Fantasia believes he can secure a trade to his home town of Adelaide, with Port Adelaide in front of the Crows but both clubs interested in his services.
Essendon were said to be happy to put a large slice of the money owed to Fantasia into the early years of his contract in a deal that helped the Bombers' salary cap needs.
But if he was to ask for a trade - after signing a two-year extension last August - he could secure a bigger wage at Port Adelaide than he would have received in the next two years at Essendon.
Effectively, he could pocket a large chunk of his current contract then secure a wage more than $100,000 a year above the less lucrative 2020-21 years of that Essendon contract.
Fantasia has told friends he is extremely likely to move back home this off-season, or at the very least request a trade from Essendon.
Essendon has interest in Port Adelaide's 200cm swingman Dougal Howard, but Port Adelaide suggested on Wednesday midfielder Sam Powell-Pepper would stay at the Power.
In theory, Essendon needs an inside midfielder like the powerfully built Powell-Pepper, but his errant disposals would be a worry for rival suitors.
Fantasia's departure would mean Essendon faces the prospect of losing their two most talented forwards in Joe Daniher and Fantasia in one off-season.
It comes as Essendon legend Tim Watson told his SEN program on Wednesday that star forward Daniher definitely wants to seek a trade to Sydney.
Fantasia was able to play only 13 games this year and required knee and hip surgery post-season, kicking just 20 goals and unable to fire in the elimination final.
His 2017 season, as he kicked 39.22 as a forward with pace and strong overhead marking, had set him up to be one of the league's premier mid-sized forwards.
But he has been able to play only 28 games in the past two seasons, kicking 20 goals in both of those years.
Essendon is determined to break a finals drought that goes all the way back to 2004, but John Worsfold could be coaching in his final season without the two players who he hoped would regularly win matches as game-breaking forwards.
When he signed that contract last year, Fantasia spoke about his love of Essendon.
"I love this place, this is like my second family now," Fantasia said.
"I've been here for five years already. I had next year already contracted (and to make it) another three years (with a two-year extension), I'm super excited.
"The bond we share in the locker room - I think Myersy (David Myers) said it on the weekend, the love we have for each other has grown massively.
"I miss my family of course, my family come over as often as they can … I was never really looking to go home."