Roosters star Latrell Mitchell has met with Cowboys coach Paul Green as North Queensland join Wests Tigers as leading suitors for the Test centre.
Mitchell and his agent had dinner with Green, Cowboys chairman Laurence Lancini and football manager Peter Parr on Monday night in Townsville as talks open around a potential immediate move north for the 2020 season.
While his premiership-winning Roosters teammates will fly to Las Vegas this week to celebrate another title and visit several US sporting franchises, Mitchell will continue to weigh up his future having had a two-year extension pulled off the table by his junior club two weeks ago.
The Tigers made their own pitch for the 22-year-old last week in his home town of Taree.
Coach Michael Maguire, CEO Justin Pascoe and football manager Adam Hartigan made the 600km round trip to sit down with Mitchell face-to-face.
A three- or four-year offer worth around $1 million a season has been touted to lure Mitchell to Concord, with the Roosters willing to release him immediately under the right financial circumstances.
The Cowboys can entertain a similar figure given they have had at least $800,000 of salary cap space set aside for Valentine Holmes should he return to the NRL after pursuing an NFL career with the New York Jets.
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Holmes's manager Chris Orr is due to meet with the former Sharks star in coming days in the States, with an update on where he sees his future expected to follow.
Mitchell's trip to Townsville comes as his coach Trent Robinson conceded the Roosters need to "move on" from the contract saga that has engulfed Mitchell and the club.
Both the Tigers and Cowboys could potentially play Mitchell in his preferred fullback role, a factor Robinson said was key in the young star's expected exit.
"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 has been a strong influence in Mitchell's rise, having handed him his NRL debut as an 18-year-old in 2016 and supported him en route to consecutive premierships and representative honours.
While reluctant to go into detail around the one-on-one meeting that brought Mitchell's contract matters to a head, Robinson conceded he had almost certainly played his last game for the Tricolours.
"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."