Canterbury have withdrawn from the race to sign out-of-favour Sydney Roosters NRL star Latrell Mitchell, with club CEO Andrew Hill confirming they will not pursue the international centre.
The Bulldogs were one of the early favourites to snare the 22-year-old on a lucrative deal after the Roosters on Tuesday withdrew their two-year, $1.6 million offer for the 2021 and 2022 seasons.
However, with speculation building as Mitchell tests the open market for his next contract, the Bulldogs have taken the forthright approach of announcing a lack of intention to pursue him.
"Usually, we don't make comment around our recruitment and retention strategies," Hill said in a statement.
"However, with all the speculation around this matter, we thought it was the right thing to do by everyone to confirm we won't pursue an interest in Latrell Mitchell."
Hill's comments come after a Canterbury recruitment and retention committee meeting on Friday afternoon.
It's believed the Bulldogs are still in the market for a marquee player for 2021, but have already re-signed Lachlan Lewis, Dallin Watene-Zelezniak and Renouf To'omaga in recent days.
They are also expected to apply for up to $350,000 of salary-cap relief for star five-eighth Kieran Foran. He injured last weekend playing for New Zealand, sidelining him for up to six months.
Mitchell is contracted with the Roosters for the 2020 season but the club is open to releasing him should the right offer be presented.
In the days since Mitchell has been on the open market, he has also been linked with North Queensland, the Wests Tigers and Newcastle.
Australian Associated Press