As revealed by The Age last month, coach John Longmire also asked some of his most trusted players to call friends and former teammates of Bennell to enquire about his on- and off-field standards.
Several players, including captain Josh Kennedy, were reminded of his impeccable training standards and preparation.
The Cats remain interested and have requested Bennell’s medical records be sent to the club but are yet to conduct their own examination.
Melbourne confirmed their interest on Tuesday with a statement issued by football boss Josh Mahoney.
“As a club, we have to look at every opportunity to make our list better, and Harley Bennell’s obviously a very talented player,” he said.
“There are a lot of things we have to discuss, and those conversations involve our coaches, our performance staff, our doctors; it really is a club decision.
“We’re trying to get as much information as we can from Harley – where his injury is at currently, what the plan looks like for him moving forward and what the opportunities are for him to get back to playing AFL football.”
Following a chequered history off the field, sources close to Bennell claim he is far from being the party boy he once was.
After being photographed with what appeared to be an illicit substance while at the Suns, Bennell was involved in several incidents while at Fremantle, including when he was removed from a flight over an incident with alcohol.
But since then, he has kept a low profile. Bennell has since met his partner Amy and in July the two welcomed their first child, Carter.
The next priority will be for Bennell to start training fully.
Sources close to the player have told The Age he will begin running this week and advice from multiple surgeons and Melbourne-based calf expert Peter Santon is that Bennell is a strong chance of returning to full fitness.
The club or clubs that want to recruit Bennell would ideally like to see him train for several weeks first.
As a delisted free agent, Bennell is able to begin training with multiple clubs as of Friday, but if he does so he’ll need to nominate for the draft.
If not, the 27-year-old can begin paid training with only one club from December 3, where he will join that club on a trial basis and will be eligible for practice and pre-season games.
The club will then have the option of picking him up in the supplementary selection period, in a similar way to Richmond’s selection of Sydney Stack last season.
At the time, Richmond recruiting manager Matt Clarke said the new rules allowed clubs to “try before we buy”.
Sam McClure won the Clinton Grybas rising star award at the AFL media association awards in 2015.