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Cats still in mix for Watts and Stringer

Jennifer Phelan - AFL Media  October 9, 2017 10:31 AM

AFL 2017 Round 23 - Collingwood v Melbourne

Jack Watts has been linked to the Cats

GEELONG hasn't closed the door on recruiting Jack Watts or Jake Stringer, despite both players looking more likely to head elsewhere. 

The Cats have confirmed they met with Watts on Friday, and will take things further when they officially open talks with Melbourne on Monday on day one of the trade period at Etihad Stadium. 

Watts has been linked to Port Adelaide, after making a trip to South Australia during Grand Final week, and reports emerged on Monday morning he has declared the Power as his preferred destination. 

But, there have also been suggestions the 26-year-old is hesitant to leave Victoria, with the Cats believing they're still in the frame to sign him.

"We did meet with Jack briefly and it's going to be interesting with how it pans out," Geelong football manager Simon Lloyd said on Monday. 

"We'll be discussing things with all the clubs today and there's a fair bit to go, so we'll see how things pan out over the next two weeks."

Watts is contracted at the Demons for another two years, but was encouraged to explore his options last month after falling out of favour with coach Simon Goodwin. 

Stringer, who is on the outer at the Western Bulldogs after coach Luke Beveridge recently declared a desire to trade him, has been strongly linked to Essendon. 

But, the Cats again believe they remain an option for the goalkicker, despite recent revelations by his ex-partner of poor off-field behaviour.

"We'll wait and see how things pan out today," Lloyd said. 

Meanwhile, Lloyd also said the Cats would be happy to keep restricted free agent Steven Motlop, despite the pacy midfielder also exploring his options. 

"We'd like to still think [he'd stay]," Lloyd said. 

"Steven has been great for us over a period of time and we hope he stays a Cat."

It is understood Motlop will declare his intentions by the end of this week, after meeting with both South Australian clubs and scheduling an appointment with Gold Coast's new coach Stuart Dew for the coming days. 

The Cats will also officially kick off talks with Gold Coast on Monday about two-time Brownlow medallist and contracted Sun Gary Ablett's desire to return to Geelong. 

Lloyd said they would entertain the Suns' request to include an established player in the deal. 

"We'll work through that with [Suns' list manager] Scott Clayton and the Suns so we'll wait and see," he said. 

"We'll talk to 'Wellsy' [Cats' list manager Stephen Wells] about [a player being part of the deal], and as a club, we'll work through it."