Looks like we are into him big time. 850K is a hefty sum though.

THE Western Bulldogs are emerging as serious contenders for the services of uncontracted Crows defender Jake Lever amid reports they are prepared to pay up to $850,000 a season.

Lever, 21, and his manager Ned Guy have been in negotiations with the Crows over his next move but Lever has always maintained he’s not in a rush to decide on his future.

The Advertiser understands there are several clubs in Melbourne — where he is from — who are keen on his signature and now the Bulldogs are understood to have put a long-term plan in front of him to consider.

The 195cm defender comes from Romsey in Melbourne’s north and the figures being bantered around are staggering for such a young player.

But he is a leader in intercept marks, has a good leap and is in among the best in the business.

He is similar to Richmond star Alex Rance in the way he can impose himself on games.

The race to secure Lever, alongside fellow uncontracted team-mate Mitch McGovern, heated up once the collective bargaining agreement between the AFL and the AFL players’ union was sorted out and clubs had a better picture of what they could spend.

He is seen as an ideal fit among an ageing backline at Whitten Oval.

The Dogs are understood to be ready to offer him a long-term deal for his services in the vein of the agreement they struck with ex-Greater Western Sydney forward/ruckman Tom Boyd.