Confirmed: Roosters pave way for Latrell’s Souths switch
The NRL's most talked about contract will be done on Monday with Latrell Mitchell set to sign a two-year deal with South Sydney.
Having knocked back South Sydney's first official offer on Friday, Mitchell agreed to become a Rabbitoh after receiving an upgraded deal worth an estimated $1.4 million.
Following a dramatic 48 hours of back-and-forth negotiations with Souths - Mitchell confirmed he was released by the Roosters with the club backing down on a threat to block the move.
Demanding a payment of $127,000 from bitter rivals South Sydney, the Roosters on Sunday agreed to release Mitchell on the condition that he paid an outstanding fee to one of his former managers.
"On Sunday afternoon, the Sydney Roosters instigated the delivery of a deed of termination/release to the management of Latrell Mitchell from the final year of his contract," the Roosters said in a statement.
"The club thanks Latrell for his service over the years, from his time in the SG Ball (2014) through to the NRL."
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Mitchell would have been required to attend Roosters training on Monday or seek additional leave had the request not been issued.
The 22-year-old was on Sunday night driving back from Taree, where he spent the weekend jet-skiing, and is expected to report to Redfern on Monday to sign his South Sydney deal.
After being wined and dine by Russell Crowe on the actor's Nana Glen estate, Mitchell knocked back the Rabbitohs' first offer on Friday.
While certain that he wanted to play for Souths after meeting Crowe and Wayne Bennett earlier in the week, Mitchell was unhappy with the first offer.
Mitchell agreed to join the Rabbitohs on Saturday night when an improved offer was made.
The Roosters only issued the release after Mitchell agreed to pay an outstanding management fee of $44,000 to his former manager Steve Deacon.
The Daily Telegraph understands Mitchell will sign a one-year deal with a one-year option in Souths' favour.
The Australian Test centre will have to set off a series of performance-based triggers to activate the second year of the contract.
It is also understood that Mitchell has been given a verbal guarantee that he will play fullback.
After an extended three-month break, Mitchell will on Tuesday begin his NRL pre-season when he joins the Rabbitohs' full-time squad.
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Firstly I want to thank @sydneyroosters for everything they have done for me an my family. I can not describe the way I feel right now but just wanted to let everyone know involved in my career through my stint here, I am so very grateful for you all. To the fans, thanks you ! Wouldn’t be a game without you. Humbled to be able to play with such a rich history club didn’t think as a Country boy I’d be able to transition to the city but roosters made that possible. To the boys !! I love yas. Playing along side of you all was something I’ll hold close to my heart. Nothing has been made official as of yet. But my stay at the roosters has come to an end. On to the next chapter where ever that may be. ❤️💛🖤
Having not taken part in an NRL training session since before the grand final 99 days ago, Mitchell will be racing the clock to be fit for the Rabbitohs' round-one clash against the Sharks on March 14.
Souths are confident that Mitchell's extended break will not affect his start to the season.
Mitchell prematurely announced his exit from the Roosters in an Instagram post last week.
"I want to thank the Sydney Roosters for everything they have done for me and my family," Mitchell wrote.
"I cannot describe the way I feel right now but just wanted to let everyone know involved in my career through my stint here, I am so very grateful for you all.
"To the fans, thank you! It wouldn't be a game without you.
"Nothing has been made official as of yet. But my stay at the Roosters has come to an end. On to the next chapter, wherever that may be."
That chapter will officially be confirmed as South Sydney on Monday.