The NRL arrival of Valentine Holmes won't stop North Queensland pursuing Latrell Mitchell.
On Monday, Cowboys coach Paul Green revealed talks with Sydney Roosters X-factor Mitchell are still ongoing.
North Queensland were expected to pull out of the race for the 22-year-old's signature after signing former Cronulla flyer Holmes on a six-year deal from 2020 believed to be worth almost $1 million a season.
But after officially unveiling Holmes as a Cowboys player, Green did not dismiss speculation that NSW centre Mitchell could join his new recruit in Townsville next year.
Green indicated that there was still interest from Mitchell despite the Cowboys telling him they were likely to sign Holmes when the disgruntled Roosters star met with North Queensland officials in Townsville last week.
"That (meeting last week) wasn't wasting anyone's time," Green said.
"We were up front with all parties about the situation with Valentine, they knew about that.
"Those conversations with Latrell are still ongoing. We weren't playing any games there."
It is unclear how much salary cap space the Cowboys have left after inking the cashed up Holmes deal with North Queensland stars Michael Morgan and Jason Taumalolo also on lucrative contracts.
And there is a question mark over where Mitchell, who is keen to play fullback next season, would fit into the Cowboys backline with Holmes set to feature in the No.1 jersey.
Wests Tigers appear to be the favourites to snare Mitchell, reportedly tabling a four-year, $3.8 million offer for him to be their new fullback.
But it seems Green has not given up on Mitchell despite suddenly becoming coy when pressed on whether the 2019 NRL leading point scorer could run out alongside Holmes in 2020.
"Signing Val is a pretty big story for the club, so I would prefer to keep today about that," Green said.
"It's great news for Val, for rugby league and for the Cowboys.
"We have got some depth which is a good thing in key positions.
"That keeps players on their toes and training hard which is what you want at this time of the year."
Australian Associated Press