North Melbourne star Shaun Higgins has scotched the suggestion he’s holding his AFL club to ransom for longer job security.
A Channel Seven report linked the 31-year-old with a surprise switch to Geelong in the off-season, despite the in-form midfielder having a year to run on his deal at Arden Street.
Without ruling out the possibility of a move, Higgins said the report was “factually incorrect”.
“I actually haven’t received anything from the football club so it’s a little bit baffling where that came from last night,” he said.
“I’m contracted for next year if people have forgotten that.
“I haven’t received anything, so there’s nothing for me to reject and there’s also nothing for me to accept at the moment.”
Higgins joined North Melbourne from Western Bulldogs at the end of the 2014, quickly becoming a key player under Brad Scott and signing an extension at the start of 2018.
That deal will expire at the end of the 2020 season, meaning the upcoming trade window will be recently appointed head coach Rhyce Shaw’s sole opportunity to trade his star rather than risk losing him for nothing next year.
But at 31, even off the back of a strong injury-interrupted year, the midfielder’s trade value will be small.
Higgins has played 15 matches this campaign, tallying more than 30 possessions eight times before a mid-year shoulder injury.
He was powerless to stop the Kangaroos posting the lowest score in the club’s history on Saturday.
“We need to respond,” Higgins said, before Saturday night’s clash with Port Adelaide.
“The one thing about this footy club, when the heat is there, we have responded.”
Higgins was at training on Tuesday alongside skipper Jack Ziebell and forward Ben Brown to present a signed guernsey to veteran fan Dorothy Forth.
The 87-year-old lifelong Kangaroos supporter survived an aggravated burglary at her home in Preston, when an attacker put a gun to her head before robbing her.
“It’s an unbelievable story in horrendous circumstances … far greater than anything we can do out on the field,” he said.
“Hopefully (Dorothy) getting around her favourite player in Browny … there’s some light for her.”