Port Adelaide says it did not chase Hawthorn defender Ryan Burton to close the trade deal on Power midfielder-forward Chad Wingard, but Hawthorn served up the South Australian as a deal closer. Picture: Michael Klein
Port Adelaide says it did not chase Hawthorn defender Ryan Burton to close the trade deal on Power midfielder-forward Chad Wingard, but Hawthorn served up the South Australian as a deal closer. Picture: Michael Klein

Burton Hawks’ choice as trade bait, not Port’s

RYAN Burton was served up by Hawthorn - and not chased by Port Adelaide - as the trade closer for contracted Power midfielder-forward Chad Wingard.

This is Port Adelaide's version of how the contracted Burton was put on the trade table last week when Wingard declared Hawthorn as his preferred AFL club in leaving Alberton.

"Hawthorn have pushed out Ryan Burton ... 100 per cent," said Port Adelaide list manager Jason Cripps.

Port Adelaide says it did not chase Hawthorn defender Ryan Burton to close the trade deal on Power midfielder-forward Chad Wingard, but Hawthorn served up the South Australian as a deal closer. Picture: Michael Klein
Port Adelaide says it did not chase Hawthorn defender Ryan Burton to close the trade deal on Power midfielder-forward Chad Wingard, but Hawthorn served up the South Australian as a deal closer. Picture: Michael Klein

Hawthorn list manager Graham Wright offered Burton, 21, in the first conversation with Cripps taking note of Port Adelaide's interest in the South Australia last year before the Hawks defender signed a three-year contract extension (to the end of 2020).

Hawthorn's eagerness to close the Wingard trade by setting up a homegoing trade for Burton has created a backlash from Hawks fans questioning why coach Alastair Clarkson would endorse moving on a popular player who was runner-up in the 2017 Rising Star award.

Port Adelaide's cool tone to the offer reflects the Power noting Burton adds to the overload of defenders at Alberton rather than answers immediate needs in the midfield.

Hawthorn's first-up offer of first-round draft pick (No. 15) and Burton remains in limbo as Port Adelaide waits on medical and "due diligence" background reports on the former North Adelaide junior.

The medical tests - that are more relevant considering Burton's injury record before he was drafted by the Hawks in 2015 - are to unfold in the US where Burton is on holiday.

Port Adelaide has had its medical team that was at a seminar in South Africa meet Burton in Las Vegas.

Port Adelaide footballer Chad Wingard in the crowd at the 36ers on Thursday night after Wingard requested a trade to Hawthorn. Picture Sarah Reed
Port Adelaide footballer Chad Wingard in the crowd at the 36ers on Thursday night after Wingard requested a trade to Hawthorn. Picture Sarah Reed

The Wingard trade is working to an 8pm (SA time) deadline on Wednesday and is complicated by Port Adelaide having many key members of its football department - including coach Ken Hinkley - travelling across the world to take up personal and professional development courses.

"Chad's requested to be traded and we need to work through whether Ryan is part of that deal," Cripps said in Melbourne at the PWC Connors sports breakfast.

"We're happy to explore it," added Cripps noting the Power is at risk of losing Wingard at the end of his contract next year as a free agent.

Chad Wingard with Jared Polec and Ken Hinkley after Port Adelaide’s final-round loss. Wingard has requested a trade to follow Polec at the door at Alberton. Picture Sarah Reed
Chad Wingard with Jared Polec and Ken Hinkley after Port Adelaide’s final-round loss. Wingard has requested a trade to follow Polec at the door at Alberton. Picture Sarah Reed