A desire to play fullback is part of Latrell Mitchell’s willingness to explore other NRL opportunities, according to Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson.
Mitchell is likely to have played his final game for the club after Robinson conceded the Roosters needed to “move on” from their star centre.
Despite having one year left on his current deal with the premiers, Mitchell is now destined for a move to the Wests Tigers or North Queensland.
“I think he wants to play fullback,” Robinson told SEN on Monday.
“I think that’s his desire, so he’s going to go and explore the opportunities. It’s as simple as that. There’s no angst there.
“It’s just, he’s out there looking at the moment.”
Robinson explained that Mitchell expressed a desire to look at other opportunities during a meeting between the pair two weeks ago.
The Roosters pulled a reported $800,000-a-year contract extension soon afterwards.
“There’s a lot been said but Latrell’s a good man and he’s delivered for the Roosters, and he wants to explore his opportunities,” Robinson said.
“A lot’s been written and we’re happy for him to do that.
“It’s just, we can’t sit and wait for that to happen. We’ve got to move on as well.”
The Tigers appear to be the frontrunners to land Mitchell’s signature, with coach Michael Maguire and CEO Justin Pascoe recently visiting him in Taree.
Another key piece in the recruitment trip was Tigers head of football Adam Hartigan, who joined them from the Roosters in July.
Hartigan was on the coaching staff of the SG Ball team that featured Mitchell, who was man-of-the-match in their grand final win in 2014.
The game was played at the Tigers’ spiritual home of Leichhardt Oval.
Should the joint-venture land Mitchell, he’ll arrive two years after the Tigers watched James Tedesco depart on a big-money deal to the Roosters.
Corey Thompson was the Tigers’ No.1 for most of the 2019 season.
Recently-appointed Tigers chairman Lee Hagipantelis made no secret of the club’s pursuit of Mitchell.
“There’s no point in being coy. We want Latrell at the Tigers next year. There’s no doubt about that,” Hagipantelis told Big Sports Breakfast.
“He is a quality human being, a quality player on and off the field.The lines of communication with Latrell and his management have been opened.
“We would not be the only club that would be interested in a marquee player of Latrell’s stature in the game.”
The Tigers announced the re-signing of Luke Garner until the end of the 2022 campaign after establishing himself in the first-grade team last season.
“It’s very exciting for me to stay here,” Garner said.
“This is the club where I made my first-grade debut and where I’ve played for the last few years so I’m very excited to stay.”
The club is also believed to be closing in on luring St George Illawarra forward Luciano Leilua as a replacement for Ryan Matterson.