SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 05: Latrell Mitchell of the Roosters looks dejected after losing the round 25 NRL match between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the Sydney Roosters at ANZ Stadium on September 05, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 05: Latrell Mitchell of the Roosters looks dejected after losing the round 25 NRL match between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the Sydney Roosters at ANZ Stadium on September 05, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

It’s official: Roosters tell Mitchell to stay away

LATRELL Mitchell has been formally and firmly told he isn't required at the official start of Sydney Roosters' pre-season training on Monday.

The Roosters issued a formal statement on Sunday afternoon stating Mitchell had been granted leave from training to sort out his future.

 

Mitchell, 22, has a contract at Bondi for this coming season with teammates expecting him back at training on Monday morning in Moore Park. They will be disappointed.

Watch over 50 sports LIVE on Kayo! Stream to your TV, mobile, tablet or computer. Just $25/month, cancel anytime. New to Kayo? Get your 14-day free trial & start streaming instantly >

Roosters officials want Mitchell off their books this week and have told the star centre to stay away to avoid an expected media circus.

A club statement read: "In lead-up to the Club's return to pre-season, Sydney Roosters player Latrell Mitchell has been granted a leave of absence, excusing him from all training commitments. The club will be making no further comment at this time."

Roosters coach Trent Robinson is close to Mitchell but wants to start planning his three-peat campaign without the distraction of having his high profile centre at training.

South Sydney fans get a glimpse of what Latrell Mitchell would look like in a Rabbitohs jersey.
South Sydney fans get a glimpse of what Latrell Mitchell would look like in a Rabbitohs jersey.

There is little or no chance Mitchell will be playing for the Roosters in 2020.

Well-placed sources confirmed a report suggesting South Sydney coach Wayne Bennett was desperately keen to lure Mitchell to Redfern, despite having previously claimed: "We won't be signing Latrell - we have enough centres."

But money will be the sticking point at Souths. Recruit Jai Arrow has another season to run on his Gold Coast Titans deal although Souths want him for 2020. Arrow is close to seeking a formal release from his 2020 contract at Robina.

Should Arrow arrive for this season, Souths would only have around $400,000 left to pay Mitchell for a one-year contract in 2020.

The timing of Jai Arrow’s arrival from the Titans will make a big impact on how much cash the Rabbitohs have to splash in 2020. Picture: Chris Hyde/Getty Images
The timing of Jai Arrow’s arrival from the Titans will make a big impact on how much cash the Rabbitohs have to splash in 2020. Picture: Chris Hyde/Getty Images

Souths could then shift players throughout the season to ensure the club can table a worthy and large offer for Mitchell to remain long-term.

But friends of Mitchell claim the player should be wary about joining Souths when the club's salary cap appears tight and uncertain.

Mitchell has split with manager Wayne Rushton to sign with Matt Rose, who has a strained working relationship with some senior officials in Souths' management team.

It had been suggested Rushton was seeking around $140,000 in compensation for losing Mitchell but the player agent has strenuously denied this figure was accurate.

There is still a push for Mitchell to join Wests Tigers.

The Tigers aren't feeling any love from Mitchell but the club still has $4m available to pay Mitchell for the next four years. Wests Tigers officials however want Mitchell to contact them - the club is over chasing Mitchell.

Rose is keen to meet with Souths Sydney and Wests Tigers officials this week.

North Queensland and Brisbane are still being discussed by the Mitchell camp but both clubs have moved on from any interest in the NSW and Kangaroos centres.

Some Cowboy officials were confused as to how Mitchell was linked to the Townsville club in the first place despite the player having a meeting with North Queensland officials.

 

 

 

 

Watch over 50 sports LIVE on Kayo! Stream to your TV, mobile, tablet or computer. Just $25/month, cancel anytime. New to Kayo? Get your 14-day free trial & start streaming instantly >