June 21, 2024

Richmond has firmly denied rumors linking star player Shai Bolton to a potential trade back to his home state of Western Australia, despite reported interest from the Fremantle Dockers.

Bolton, a crucial figure for the Tigers, is under contract until 2028. Recent speculation had suggested that Fremantle was considering a significant trade move to bring the versatile midfielder-forward back to his home state, along with out-of-contract West Australian Liam Baker.

However, Tim Livingstone, Richmond’s GM of football performance, has categorically rejected these reports, dismissing them as mere “rumors.”

 

“Seventeen clubs would be interested in Shai, wouldn’t they?” remarked Livingstone on SEN Sportsday.

“He’s a star player, he’s cherished at our club, and he’s committed to staying with us. He’s under contract, so I’m not entertaining such rumors.”

When directly asked if Bolton would be traded under any scenario, Livingstone’s response was firm: “Not at all.”

Bolton’s significance to the Tigers was evident during last night’s eight-point win over the Adelaide Crows. Making a return from concussion, he amassed 20 disposals, secured seven clearances, and had multiple scoring opportunities, ultimately ending with three behinds.

Despite reports of Fremantle’s interest and their substantial draft assets – including multiple first-round picks from trades with other clubs – Richmond remains resolute.

The Dockers’ reported ambitions include pursuing Bolton alongside Liam Baker, another West Australian and two-time premiership player whose Richmond contract expires at the season’s end.

The notion of parting ways with Bolton, regarded as one of the club’s top talents, especially with veteran Dustin Martin nearing the end of his career, is out of the question for Richmond. The club sees Bolton as pivotal to their ongoing rebuilding efforts and future success.

Commenting on the potential trade, Kane Cornes suggested that Richmond would only entertain such a move if Fremantle presented an exceptional offer. However, considering Bolton’s contractual situation and the club’s internal priorities, such a scenario appears improbable.

Richmond’s dismissal of the trade rumors underscores their dedication to retaining their top players during the rebuilding phase, with key figures like Bolton, Tim Taranto, and Jacob Hopper leading the charge.

AFL Richmond Tigers star Shai Bolton re-signs until 2028 - ESPN

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