Painful goodbye: Roosters confirm Mitchell contract withdrawal
Latrell Mitchell has had an emotional meeting with Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson on Monday in which the two-time premiership winner was formally told his long-term future at Bondi was over.
It comes as The Daily Telegraph can reveal Mitchell:
* Met Roosters chairman Nick Politis face-to-face on Tuesday for the first time since the club withdrew its $800,000 a year contract offer;
* Returned to Roosters headquarters inside Paddington's Entertainment Quarter on Monday to start off-season testing;
* Was told the Roosters did not have salary cap room to retain him after 2020;
* May still play at Concord next season after Roosters powerbrokers made it clear to Wests Tigers officials they would grant the him an early release;
* Could remain at the Roosters next year if he is unable to secure another deal;
* Would be required to return to Roosters training in early January - possibly the 6th - if still contracted to the club.
Mitchell and Politis met over coffee at an eastern suburbs cafe.
The Daily Telegraph understands Mitchell was told there wasn't money for him to be re-signed when his current deal at the club expires after next season.
A day earlier, Mitchell quietly returned to Sydney Roosters headquarters to complete fitness testing and a medical, which is part of the NRL's off-season Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Mitchell spoke with Robinson, with onlookers saying the reunion was highly emotional when Mitchell realised his time at Bondi was coming to a close.
Sources close to the negotiations say the Roosters have indicated they would release Mitchell to Wests Tigers immediately.
If unable to nail down a new club, the Roosters have a contractual obligation to keep Mitchell for next season.
Some at the club believe Mitchell's return would be a "major distraction" while others say he would slot back in comfortably.
The Tigers will offer Mitchell two key enticements - a $1 million annual contract and the chance to play fullback.
The Tigers have withdrawn their offer but remain interested in signing Mitchell provided the player indicates a desire to play under coach Michael Maguire at Concord.
Mitchell's return to the Roosters was also a club requirement given he is still under contact at Bondi for next season.
While the Roosters have re-signed props Jared Waerea-Hargreaves and Siosiua Taukeiaho, the club would still need to find $500,000 for Mitchell in 2020 should he stay.
Gold Coast also remain interested in signing Mitchell.
Mitchell was given an extended break after representing the Kangaroos in Oceania Cup Tests against New Zealand and Tonga in October and November.