Kangaroo Ben McKay requests move to Essendon

North Melbourne key defender Ben McKay is set to join Essendon as a free agent.

McKay was being chased by the Bombers, Sydney and Hawthorn, who are all in need of big-bodied, strong-marking key defenders.

But McKay has opted to reunite with Essendon coach Brad Scott, who was his coach in his early years at the Kangaroos, after North confirmed he had chosen to explore his free agency options.

The 25-year-old would be a crucial addition to the Bombers' back line, after defender Brandon Zerk-Thatcher requested a trade to Port Adelaide.

As McKay is a restricted free agent, North are able to match a contract offer to him and force a trade.

"We understand that free agency is part of football," Kangaroos list manager Brady Rawlings said.

"Given Ben is a restricted free agent, we have the option to match any contract that's on offer to him.

"The official start of the free agency period is still a couple of weeks away so we've got time to assess our options and make a decision in the best interests of the North Melbourne Football Club."

The Kangaroos will hope Essendon's offer is big enough to trigger a compensation selection directly after their first round pick - which would allow them to hold picks No.2 and No.3 in the draft.

McKay has played 71 games since his debut in 2017, only winning eight.

The Bombers have also been linked to St Kilda midfielder/forward Jade Gresham, who is also a free agent.

Hawthorn key forward Jacob Koschitzke has requested a trade to Richmond.

New coach Adem Yze hoped the Tigers could seal a deal for Koschitzke, who has booted 54 goals in 48 games.

"I coached at the Hawks while he was there, and he's a diligent kid, he works really hard," Yze said on Friday.

"So if that does happen, and it does eventuate that he does walk into our footy club, it'll be nice to see a friendly face and hopefully I can take his game to another level too.

"Because he has got some upside and if that does happen, then it'll be exciting for us."