Roosters give Latrell deadline to leave
LATRELL Mitchell's NRL future is set reportedly to be resolved by the end of the year with the Roosters reportedly telling the star they want him off their books by January 1.
Mitchell's contract has been the biggest story of the NRL off-season, after the Roosters' decision to pull a two-year, $800,000-a-season contract extension last month - before telling the 22-year-old they have no cap space to sign him beyond for 2021 and beyond.
It now appears certain Mitchell, who is contracted at the Tri-colours for 2020, has played his last game for the club.
The Roosters were initially adamant they would not grant an early release to arch rivals South Sydney, but Fairfax reports that stance has softened.
In turn, the Rabbitohs are warming to the idea, having previously declared there was "no interest".
According to Fairfax, the Rabbitohs would take Mitchell on "under the right" circumstances - whether five-eighth Cody Walker re-signs with the club and if Gold Coast Titans star Jai Arrows signs with the club and is granted an early release.
Also key to the switch is how much of Mitchell's salary the Roosters would be prepared to pay and how many third-party deals can be secured.
Mitchell is understood to be keen on a cross-town switch and would be prepared to take a pay cut to make it happen, with the Rabbitohs unable to match the $1.1 million a season the Wests Tigers have available.
The Tigers were frontunners to secure Mitchell on a four-year deal but pulled out after he started shopping himself to rivals and was spotted dining with the Cowboys in Townsville.
The club, however, has since indicated that talks could be back on if Mitchell picks up the phone and makes the first move.
Also in the race are the Gold Coast Titans, who have made no secret of their desire to land a marquee signing.
On Monday, Roosters captain Jake Friend confirmed a decision on Mitchell's future would be made in the coming weeks.
"He seemed fine to me," Friend told reporters.
"He's enjoying time with his family and I think that's great for him. He needs that after a big season.
"He's got a decision to make and that'll be done over the Christmas break, I'd say."