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AFL 2022 news: Lance Franklin breaks silence on future rumors, Swans to Lions

Sydney Swans striker Paddy Franklin remains “hesitant” about his future in the sport, and has officially halted contract talks as rumors of a possible move to Queensland swirled.

The 35-year-old is considering turning his back on the Swans to reach a deal with the Brisbane Lions, according to a report by Nine reporter Michael Atkinson Thursday night.

Nine’s report was immediately responded to by Swans CEO Tom Harley, who claimed the veteran striker’s move to Brisbane was “news for him”.

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Sports broadcaster Andy Maher later claimed Franklin would stay with the Sydney-based club, potentially extending his contract by one year.

“I can’t say where it came from, but Franklin is not going to Brisbane,” he told SEN on Friday.

“He’s not going, he’ll stay in Sydney and they’re in the midst of a contract, so it looks like he’s going to play another year for the Swans if that information is correct and where Jamila Strong comes from.”

Meanwhile, Brisbane coach Chris Fagan felt that if Franklin were to move to Queensland, it would likely be to retire rather than continue his football career.

On Saturday morning, Franklin’s coach Adam Finch released a statement confirming that contract talks have been put on hold so the footballer can focus on Sydney’s arrival in the finals.

“At this point, talks about my contract have been paused so I can put all my focus on playing football,” Franklin said.

“No further comment will be made until the season is over and I have decided on my future.

“I am still hesitant and need time after the season to make a family decision on whether to continue playing next year.”

Former Hawthorn striker Ben Dixon has argued that Franklin has a chance to “play on the moon more than Victoria” next year.

“I think there are some real advantages in[Brisbane transfer rumors],” Fox Footy said.

“My gut feeling is yes (he’s leaving Sydney).

“The chance of playing on the moon is greater than in Victoria.

“Going to another tilt, going to a different club, nothing will tarnish your reputation in the game.

He will only go north.

“He’s a Perth boy, but you can eliminate these two clubs (Fremantle and West Coast). You can eliminate the Giants. It’s an elimination – Gold Coast or Brisbane.

“Brisbane is right in the wheelhouse to win it. If not this year, they still have a little mileage next year.

“I know his drive to sign a long-term agreement with Sydney has been a sustained success.

“I think his drive, his motivation – he wants to win with a flag.

“It could be the most exciting property in Queensland.

“If you look at it and say, ‘Who is closer to science (Gold Coast or Brisbane)? Well, there is no doubt about Brisbane.

Franklin joined Swans from Hawthorn in 2014 in a nine-year, $10 million deal.

While he has been prone to injury in recent years, the spectacle of fans streaming into the SCG when the Australian player eight times scored his 1,000th career goal showed that he remains one of the sport’s biggest draw cards.

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