Port goes public in offer for star Bomber

Port Adelaide’s vice-captain says his club would “love to have” star free agent Zach Merrett and would consider taking a pay cut to make it happen.

Port Adelaide vice-captain Ollie Wines says his club would “love to have” star free agent Zach Merrett at Alberton and would even consider taking a pay cut to make it happen.

Foxfooty.com.au revealed last year Port was one of several rival teams, including Carlton and Hawthorn, that had shown interest in securing Merrett, who remains unsigned beyond 2021.

Merrett eventually denied rumours he was considering leaving the Bombers during a tumultuous trade period for the club.

The Age reported on Tuesday the Power had “joined the queue of clubs” keen on acquiring the 25-year-old, with Melbourne also showing “strong interest” and the Magpies having the salary cap space to launch a bid for a player of Merrett’s calibre.

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Speaking on 3AW’s Sportsday on Tuesday night, Wines said a player like Merrett would complement the Power’s glut of inside ball-winners.

“I haven’t seen (the report), but he’s a quality player, we’d love to have him,” Wines told Sportsday.

“Our midfield is built of guys that probably aren’t the most polished players – myself included, I probably lead that position – so to have another silky mid coming into the frame would be nice.

“We’re always looking to build our list. We’ve created a great club, a lot of interstate players want to come here and stay here, so I’m sure we could be a bit of an attraction.”

After acquiring gun defender Aliir Aliir and crafty forward Orazio Fantasia during last year’s trade period, the Power face the prospect of several big-name players being out of contract at season’s end, including Robbie Gray, Hamish Hartlett, Steven Motlop and Tom Rockliff.

But Wines, who signed a long-term contract extension last year that tied him to the club until at least the end of 2026, suggested he and some of his teammates might entertain the notion of sacrificing some of their salary so the Power can acquire a star player from a rival club.

Asked if he’d be prepared to take a pay cut in order for the club to attract a big fish, Wines said: “Definitely. I think we, more so my age and up, are at the stage of our careers where we’re as hungry as ever to win a premiership.

“If that takes sacrificing some of your salary, we’d probably sit down and talk about it.

“To make our team the best we can be and be up there competing for it (the premiership), sometimes you’ve got to take those sacrifices, so it’d be something sure talked about I think.”

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