Essendon or Hawthorn? Kangaroo Ben McKay rules out Sydney, narrows options

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North Melbourne free agent Ben McKay will remain in Victoria in 2024 after telling Sydney he won’t relocate to join the Swans.

The 25-year-old defender now has a decision to make on whether he accepts offers from either Hawthorn or Essendon to continue his 71-game career.

Essendon and Hawthorn are now waiting on North Melbourne’s Ben McKay to declare his intentions for 2024.Credit: AFL Photos

Two industry sources confirmed to this masthead that McKay had ruled out Sydney as his destination, but it was unclear where he was heading, although several Kangaroos’ officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, expect him to accept an offer from a rival club.

As McKay is a restricted free agent, North Melbourne retain the option to match the bid and force a trade if they believed they were capable of gaining a better pick in a trade than they would receive as compensation for losing McKay.

That compensation could be as high as a selection immediately after North Melbourne’s pick two, depending on what contract McKay is offered.

Both the Bombers and the Hawks have targeted McKay for his ability to fill their immediate need for a key defender.

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