After several days of speculation, Essendon ruckman Patrick Ryder has confirmed that he wants to leave the AFL club.

Ruckman Patrick Ryder is understood to have told Essendon he definitely wants to leave the AFL club.

He broke the bad news before Friday’s stunning Federal Court setback, where the Bombers and coach James Hird lost their legal challenge against the joint ASADA-AFL investigation into the Essendon supplements scandal.

But the Bombers have not given up and plan to meet with Ryder again.

There has been growing speculation about Ryder’s future in the last few days.

Not surprisingly, rival clubs are showing interest in Essendon’s No.1 ruckman after his stellar season.

Brisbane have led the way, but Port Adelaide and Greater Western Sydney are also said to be keen.

Ryder was unlucky not to make this year’s All-Australian squad.

While he is tied to Essendon, the strong speculation is that Ryder would activate a little-known clause in the standard AFL player contract.

It allows a player to break his deal and become a delisted free agent if he can argue a breach of contract.

Then Essendon would face the difficult decision of how far they would be prepared to go to stop Ryder leaving.

Key Bombers figures such as interim coach Mark Thompson and reigning best and fairest winner Brendon Goddard have made it clear this month that they want Ryder to stay.

Goddard also attacked rival clubs for trying to lure Ryder, saying it was unethical.