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Melbourne Football Club

Gawn set for long-term deal

We've been talking to Max all year (about a new contract)
Max Gawn

MELBOURNE is close to signing All Australian ruckman Max Gawn on a new long-term deal, says CEO Peter Jackson.

The 25-year-old becomes a restricted free agent at the end of 2018, joining the likes of Rory Sloane, Andrew Gaff, Jeremy McGovern and Sun Tom Lynch as star players likely to be high on rival clubs' recruiting lists. 

Jackson assured the Demon faithful talks were progressing well with the 208cm playmaker, and a likely three-year extension would make him one of the highest-paid players at the club.

"We've been talking to Max all year (about a new contract)," Jackson told SEN on Tuesday.

"We're far enough (into negotiations) the something will get done in the reasonably near future.

"I don't know whether it will be next week or before Christmas, but I think it will be before next season starts.

"Max is committed to the club and sees the opportunities that are coming, so I don't think there will be a problem there."

"He is contracted for 2018, so if you take that into account, I think (the contract) will go out to four years in total."

Jackson was also confident the club's "quality" list management team can re-sign other important Demons falling out of contract including star youngster Christian Petracca and free agents Neville Jetta and Tom McDonald.

When asked about his own future, Jackson – who has been pivotal in improving the Demons' fortunes on and off the field – said that while he was committed to the job, the club needed to start planning for his successor.

Jackson played a key role in Simon Goodwin's appointment as senior coach after several seasons as an assistant under Paul Roos.

"In my own mind I've always wanted, if we could do it, a succession plan (for my role)," Jackson said.

"I hope we can because the Melbourne needs a strong era of stability, and if we can streamline that at CEO level that would be good thing."