Essendon are giving injury-plagued forward Joe Daniher space to consider his AFL future amidst speculation he will seek a trade to Sydney.
Daniher has endured a wretched run with osteitis pubis over the past two years that has restricted him to just 11 games.
The 25-year-old is contracted to the Bombers next season but is a free agent after that.
His meeting with Swans chief executive Tom Harley during the season kicked off speculation he would seek a fresh start, but he hasn't communicated that to the Bombers, who remain hopeful he will stay.
"I think Joe's sitting back and looking at where he's got to from an injury perspective and what he wants to get out of his football moving forward," chief executive Xavier Campbell said on Tuesday.
"I feel like we want to give him space.
"We're a club that supports its players to be themselves and he knows that we really value what he does and he knows that we know how difficult this period has been for him.
"I probably expect him to be playing at Essendon next year, but we're just going through a process now and we'll have another discussion next week."
Trading a member of the storied Daniher family, a four-time leading goalkicker and a fan favourite, would have been unthinkable not long ago.
John Worsfold, who will hand the coaching reigns to Ben Rutten at the end of 2020, still thinks that outcome is a long shot.
"We don't guess, we'll just deal with the facts, he's a contracted player and we want him playing for Essendon next year," Worsfold said.
"Nothing else has happened other than he met with Tom Harley, who is a mate of his ... so that's all just speculation.
"Would Joe like being out of the limelight (in Sydney)? Who knows except Joe.
"So we will deal with it as it comes. At the moment Joe is a contracted player and there is nothing else out there."
Australian Associated Press