North Melbourne coach Brad Scott has confirmed Josh Kelly has been identified as the "type of player" they need, while also saying they are "in the market" for another ruckman.
The Roos lost out in the race for Dustin Martin, despite offering him a whopping seven-year deal to lure him away from Richmond.
Scott confirmed on Channel 9's Future Stars that Kelly was next on the radar, with the club showing an interest in landing him five years ago via the mini draft.
"We would have taken Josh Kelly with one of those (mini draft) picks, so we've liked him for a very, very long time," he said.
"But a bit like Dustin Martin, he's had his best ever season the year we're interested, so that's certainly driven up the trade price and certainly the remuneration for the players involved.
"I don't get too involved in the financial side of it, but more in terms of the list build and the sort of players that we need.
"We identified some midfielders we wanted to strengthen our midfield, because we have some really strong inside talent, but we wanted to get some more outside run - and, clearly, Josh is that type of player."
Scott also confirmed the club was keen on securing a ruck, with out of contract Collingwood ruckman Mason Cox - who trialled at North Melbourne - listening on the panel nearby.
"We were very keen to acquire Mason, I remember that trial very well and he performed really well," he said.
"I still think that Mason would have found a niche in our team...there’s a lot talked about our rucks, but really we only have three of them, and you can debate whether Majak’s best position is ruck or forward, so we’re still in the market for another ruck."