The Essendon Bombers are laying their foundation for the 2018 AFL Premiership competition and will offer Western Bulldog forward Jake Stringer a three-year contract if and when he becomes a Bomber.

They may be leery, thinking that Jake is just stringing them along to see if he can attract a better offer.

Stringer does claim that a Don guernsey is his preference and Devon Smith of the GWS Giants and Adam Saad of the Gold Coast Suns seem to be headed to Essendon. The dons will attempt to make the deals by dangling this year’s draft choices in front of the clubs involved.

The Dogs want the 11th pick from the Dons in exchange for Stringer. Just how will are the Dons to part with that high of a selection could throw a spanner into the works. If they balk at surrendering the 11th overall pick, Stringer may be stranded in Sydney for another season.

Assisting the Bombers’ cause is Aaron Francis, who would like to return to SA and home to play for either Port or the Crows, with the Power expressing some interest in Francis.

Exactly what the Dons could expect by way of return for Francis is uncertain. Port has the 29th pick, but they stand to lose free agency compensation for Jackson Trengove, due to acquiring a free agent of their own, Tom Rockliff, from the Brisbane Lions. They might also get free agent Steven Motlop from the Geelong Cats and has expressed a desire to play for Port, the Crows, or the Suns.

Back to Stringer, he has not yet officially declared for Essendon, but both the Bombers and the Bulldogs expect him to do so soon. Stringer would gain no boost to his earnings, but would get an additional two years’ tenure.

Gold Coast and the Swans have yet to announce what they would demand for Saad or Smith, but Saad would be happy to return to his familial environs of the north suburbs of Melbourne, even though he remains under contract to GC.

Devon Smith is unencumbered by contract with the Giants.