Rugby league legend Laurie Daley has warned Latrell Mitchell not to leave Sydney Roosters, saying chasing money to be the marquee player at a rival NRL club could backfire.
Speaking on Sky Sports Radio on Thursday, Daley said the star-studded premiership roster at the Roosters would give Mitchell the freedom to develop without the pressure of being a match-winner.
Although the Roosters have withdrawn their $800,000 per season offer for the 2021 and 2022 seasons, Daley has said taking the pressure off during Mitchell's formative years would be a huge benefit to his development and mental wellbeing.
Earlier this year the 22-year-old was dropped from Brad Fittler's NSW Origin side, and has faced an emotional and mental battle while calling out online racial abuse throughout the season.
Daley, who is also indigenous, said he cannot speak for what Mitchell is going through but urged "the best centre in the game" to give himself time before chasing millions of dollars to be a match-winner at an NRL rival.
"That could put more pressure on him," Daley told The Big Sports Breakfast.
"Everyone responds differently to different situations and if you've got a guy that's got plenty of talent that can lift other people and inspire other people, that would be a good move.
"I just think where Latrell is at the moment, he's better off to stay at the Roosters, in that system. And then, in two or three years time, he's still only 25 years of age and then if he wanted to take the money, take it."
West Tigers, Canterbury and North Queensland have all been linked to Mitchell since the Roosters pulled their offer on Tuesday night, but it is unclear whether any club would be willing to pay more than the Roosters' original offer.
He has a contract with the club for 2020, but it's understood the Roosters would be willing to let him leave the immediately if they were financially compensated.
Mitchell is reportedly being advised by up to three agents, including Wayde Rushton, Matt Rose and Mario Tartak, and family friend Anthony Mundine.
In an interview with Nine Media, Mundine said Mitchell should do what's best for his young family.
"He has a kid and another one on the way. He has to do what's best for them and that's to get as much money as he can," he said.
Australian Associated Press