The Sydney Swans future of Dylan Stephens remains in the air.
The 22-year-old midfielder, who was taken with pick 5 in the 2019 draft, is without a Swans contract for season 2024 and beyond.
However, Stephens did not request a trade at his exit meeting earlier this week, indicating that he perhaps wants to remain in the Harbour City.
Born in Mildura in Victoria but recruited out of Norwood in South Australia, Stephens has previously been linked to the Adelaide Crows but will not be making his way to West Lakes this off-season.
SEN’s Tom Morris is reporting that even though Stephens is unsigned at the Swans, he could yet remain with the club as he continues to ponder what is next.
But if he were to leave then North Melbourne appears the most likely landing spot.
“He had his exit meeting yesterday (Wednesday) at the Sydney Swans and no trade was requested there,” Morris said on SEN SA Breakfast.
“He’s still weighing up his options. There’s been a contract offer from the Swans for some time.
“The attraction to Dylan Stephens is that he was pick 5 in 2019. It’s pretty rare that you see a player of that sort of status who is then out of contract four years later and potentially on the move.
“He is a South Australian even though he was born in Mildura. He was drafted out of South Australia.
“I can tell you that the Crows are not keen on Dylan Stephens, so he won’t be going to Adelaide. I’m not sure about Port Adelaide.
“I think the most likely destination for him, if he does request a trade, is North Melbourne. I’m not sure there’s a massive go-home factor for him, it’s more about where he can get senior football and guaranteed games.
“He’s played 43 at the Swans so he has played some football, but for whatever reason it hasn’t quite worked out.
“But he won’t be going to the Crows and I can’t imagine Port having the draft capital to get him given what else they’re trying to do.”
Stephens played 13 AFL games in red and white in 2023, averaging 13.5 disposals, 2.5 tackles and 2 inside 50s.
He debuted for the Swans in 2020 and has 43 senior games to his name.