He joins Geelong key-position player Esava Ratugolea and out-of-contract Western Bulldogs ruckman Jordon Sweet in seeking a trade to Alberton.
Port Adelaide had met Grundy about a move home to South Australia but had already declared they were out of the race for Grundy.
Sweet, 25, who was taken in the rookie draft in 2019, played 11 games for the Dogs and was offered a new contract to remain at Whitten Oval but on Wednesday the Dogs announced that he wanted a return home to South Australia.
Having traded heavily for Jason Horne-Francis last year, Port does not have a first-round pick this year nor their own second-round pick, but they do have Collingwood’s second-round selection.
Securing all three players – Zerk-Thatcher, Sweet and Ratugolea – will most likely require them to trade a future pick.
The Swans appear to be the most likely destination for Grundy if, as expected, the Demons ruck asks for a trade after the unsuccessful move from Collingwood this season. Naturally, that situation could change should Grundy return to the Demons team and form part of a successful finals campaign.
Sydney would look to take on Grundy’s Melbourne contract, without a Demons contribution, giving Melbourne significant salary cap relief. The trade terms thus, without Melbourne having to pay a portion of Grundy’s wage, would be expected to be modest.
Why Tiger great is hanging his hopes on GWS
Richmond supporters may have lauded three premierships over their Victorian-based rivals since 2017, but Tigers great Trent Cotchin still cannot bear to have a rival Melbourne club prevail this month.
The Tigers did not make the finals this season, in what was Cotchin’s last as he announced his retirement. After week one of September action, fellow traditional power clubs Collingwood and Carlton, and 2021 premiers Melbourne, are still in contention, along with three interstate clubs.
However, Cotchin wants the interstate club with the least supporters – Greater Western Sydney – to hold the premiership trophy aloft.
“Given there are a couple of Melbourne teams in there, I would like to see GWS go on and win it, so I don’t have the pain and suffering of listening to Collingwood supporters and Melbourne supporters and Carlton supporters,” Cotchin said on Wednesday, having been confirmed as a leadership mentor with National Basketball League club South East Melbourne Phoenix.
“They have all had fantastic years. Some have maintained probably better form, or carried better form into finals, and the way they [Giants] performed last week, kind of suggested so. But, who wins, I have no idea. Collingwood and Brisbane are currently in the box seat, but those other teams are definitely worthy of being there, and ready to challenge.”
The Tigers dismantled the Giants in the 2019 grand final, the latter having rebuilt this season under new coach Adam Kingsley. The Giants face the Power in Adelaide on Saturday in a cutthroat semi-final.
While Kingsley – a former Tigers’ premiership assistant coach – prospers, Cotchin was also effusive about Andrew McQualter, the caretaker Tigers coach vying for the top role permanently.
The Tigers are closing in on a replacement for Damien Hardwick, who quit mid-season and is now with Gold Coast.
While the Tigers fell short of finals, Cotchin said McQualter, a long-time assistant, would be a brilliant appointment.
“I expected him to be brilliant at what he did. He is so invested in the players and the care and making sure he maximises the talent that is on the list. He did that brilliantly,” Cotchin said.
“It is always hard when that finals opportunity gets taken away from you, which happened probably two or three weeks out from finals, and keeping a team motivated is really hard. But the way they performed in the [second] last round with a few players out was really special and significant.”
Cotchin said McQualter had “everything that is required to be a brilliant senior coach”.
“I know that his ideas and plans, if he was to be, obviously, the successful candidate, are really exciting for the club, but I am sure the club is doing everything they can to select the right person for the role and how to take the club forward,” Cotchin said.
The Tigers beat North Melbourne by 29 points in round 23, on a day they said goodbye to Cotchin and fellow retiree Jack Riewoldt. They were beaten by Port Adelaide in the final round of the season.
Coach Craig McRae had admitted Daicos would have been short of a run if required to play this week.
But with Collingwood earning the week off by beating Melbourne in last week’s qualifying final, the pressure on the 20-year-old to return has been relieved.
Daicos hit the track for around two hours in warm conditions at Collingwood’s training base at Olympic Park Oval on Wednesday, running through some drills with development coach Neville Jetta.
The midfielder was kicking, running and bar a couple of ginger moments, was moving well and in good spirits ahead of his planned return against either Port Adelaide or GWS at the MCG next week.
Older brother Josh has tried not to badger Nick about his knee too much, instead supporting the 20-year-old through his injury.
But the winger is confident the young gun, who averaged 31 disposals and kicked 18 goals before his injury, will hit the ground running when he returns.
“He’s just been super professional with his rehab and obviously wants to come back so bad,” Josh Daicos told AAP ahead of the finals.
“It’s the best time of the year, finals. He was very optimistic about it and attacked rehab. So yeah, he’ll be ready to go.”