Gold Coast forward Izak Rankine has a decision to make.
According to SEN’s Sam Edmund, the Suns livewire has been offered a $4 million, five-year deal to return to South Australia and join the Adelaide Crows.
Edmund understands the Suns would demand Adelaide’s first-round pick to be involved in any deal for the out-of-contract 22-year-old.
Speaking on SEN BreakfastDavid King has urged Gold Coast to “take a stand” and play hardball with Rankine.
“Brave from Adelaide – tick – love the adventure,” King said.
“It just never ends at the Gold Coast, does it? It just never ends.
“Just when you think they’ve got perfect harmony between on-field performance, the unity you can see, this list building together, they’ve signed probably six of their top eight players over the last six months and you sort of expected Izak will sign. It’ll be a reasonable deal and he’s only 22 years of age.
“It’s incredibly tough for the Gold Coast and I just wonder if they would say, ‘You know what? We’re not doing to do this deal. We’re going to take a stand. We’ve got enough first-round picks. We’ve got enough future picks coming in’. Let’s dig our heels in and say, ‘You know what? You want to leave? You can go in the draft’.
“Why not? They did it with Jack Martin – why not?
“I’m just wondering what the Gold Coast do. Do they say, ‘Do we just draw a line in the sand again?’ Because this is going to continue to happen if they allow it to happen. I think they’ll take a stance.”
SEN Breakfast co-host Kane Cornes also weighed in on Rankine’s links to the Crows.
“I’m speculating here that Adelaide knew that the Eddie Betts information was going to come out and they needed some good news,” Cornes said.
“They have then gone, ‘Izak Rankine hasn’t re-signed … we’re going to give him an offer that he cannot refuse’.
“They’ve had issues with their Indigenous program and criticism from Andrew McLeod and of course the issues that happened with Taylor Walker.
“Let’s get a star Indigenous player on a contract that he cannot refuse because we know we’re about to get smashed with the Eddie Betts (fallout) and the damage that’s going to do to the club.”
King wonders if Rankine can handle the pressure of being a highly paid Crows player in a two-team town.
“Can I throw another angle at you? This guy is 22 years of age, so from his management point of view, is this the right thing to do by your client at 22 years of age to send him to a two-team town on top dollar?” The dual All-Australian said.
“The pressure would be enormous.
“He’s a forward pocket, he’s not Chris Judd as a breakaway midfielder. Is this the way you should handle a young man?”
Cornes replied: “It’s an excellent point because he looked to have turned the corner with his footy and he looked to be really happy. He looked to be in an exciting group and away from the spotlight.
“He’s going to have that many eyeballs on him. You will not believe the scrutiny that Izak Rankine is going to be under in South Australia being the highest paid player in the town and one of the biggest names.
“Can he cope with that? I don’t know. He’s been an inconsistent player to this point.
“Is it the right move? It’s a lot of money to reject.”
Rankine, the third pick overall in the 2018 National Draft, has kicked a career-high 27 goals from 16 games in 2022.