Matthew Lloyd and Damien Barrett discuss the likely movements of North Melbourne defender Ben McKay, confirm he won’t be at Kangaroos in 2024.

Essendon great Matthew Lloyd believes Kangaroos defender Ben McKay may be priced out of several attractive new homes following confirmation he will leave Arden St at season’s end.

The 25-year-old defender will attract a deal close to $800,000, which would ensure the Kangaroos lock away a top five draft pick in return.

But Lloyd is certain a side like Collingwood would have no room to take McKay onboard, despite their interest.

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“Probably they wouldn’t be able to afford him, that would be the issue. The contract could be what, $800,000?” Lloyd said on Nine’s Sunday AFL Footy Show.

Leading journalist Damien Barrett backed Lloyd’s hesitation, despite confirming McKay will not be in the blue and white come 2024.

“It’s going to have to be that, if they’re going to get the pick after their own in the draft. I don’t think the Pies have that sort of money to allow him to go there as part of their backline,” Barrett said.

“There is no one at North Melbourne who thinks he is staying.”

But there is hope of landing at another club that is on the rise, with Barrett confirming genuine interest from three finals-bound sides.

“His former coach, who was coaching against him (on Saturday), that being Brad Scott of Essendon is really keen to get him across next year,” Barrett said.

“Sydney Swans have certainly showed interest, Port Adelaide has shown some interest.

“He’s a man in demand.”

As for the struggling Roos who have won just two matches so far in 2023, the loss of McKay could mean big things come draft night.

“From a North Melbourne perspective, they just want the new contract that he gets … to be of a nature that will allow them the draft pick immediately after their own in the next national draft. It would allow them to get picks two and three,” Barrett said.

It comes after Lloyd lamented the “sad” position the Kangaroos find themselves in towards the end of season 2023, despite their last two promising games amid the return of star coach Alastair Clarkson.

Lloyd highlighted McKay’s poor win-loss rate in the blue and white, winning only seven of his 69 total games as a big factor to his looming trade.

“You’ve got Tarryn Thomas and (Ben) McKay, they’re weighing up whether they stay or go. You’d probably say ‘I’m going’,” Lloyd said on Nine’s Footy Classified.

Despite the looming loss of McKay, North Melbourne’s last three matches have shown promise for the club’s future, losing to finals hopefuls Essendon by only nine points on Saturday.

The Kangaroos now face a 13th-placed Richmond, then 15th-placed Gold Coast to finish of their season.



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