Penrith say they have no interest in pursuing Latrell Mitchell amid mounting speculation the NRL star will leave Sydney Roosters in 2020 after they sensationally withdrew a contract extension offer.
The Panthers were quickly linked to Mitchell along with Canterbury, Wests Tigers and Newcastle after the Test centre baulked at a new deal believed to be worth $800,000 a season from 2021 and beyond, prompting the Roosters' shock response on Tuesday.
Mitchell is under contract at the Tri-colours for 2020 but may be given the green light to walk away next year after the two-time defending premiers were reportedly unhappy that he wanted to explore his options.
But he won't be heading to Penrith after Panthers CEO Brian Fletcher categorically ruled them out of the mix on Wednesday.
"We have no interest. We have cap space but he is not on our radar," Fletcher told AAP.
Wests Tigers were also thrown up as a possible new home with reports the joint venture were ready to put together a $3.3 million, three year deal for the NSW X-factor with the proviso he plays fullback.
The Tigers do appear front runners with $1.7 million up their sleeve for 2020 and a staggering $6 million free for 2021 after Ben Matulino was retired on medical grounds and Ryan Matterson was released.
However, it is believed the Tigers are now baulking at the $1 million a season price tag Mitchell is reportedly demanding with Gold Coast's AJ Brimson now their top target for fullback.
Newcastle may yet make a play for Taree product Mitchell while there are conflicting reports over the cashed up Bulldogs' interest, with some outlets claiming they had also already pulled out of the race.
It remains to be seen who can cough up the money Mitchell is reportedly demanding.
NSW and Panthers great Mark Geyer expected rival clubs to baulk at Mitchell's asking price, saying the two-time premiership winner did not deserve $1 million a season.
"At the moment he is worth $800,000 a season, on his current form," Geyer told Triple M Radio.
"He's got to get himself more involved in games to be that $1.1 or $1 million player.
"Latrell just seems to have that uncanny knack of not trying to find his way into the game and because he's such a good player that stands out."
Adding to the mix, Mitchell is reportedly unhappy with his current agent Wayde Rushton after a messy split with former manager Steve Deacon earlier this season.
Mitchell has been with the Roosters since age 16 when he was picked up as a future star in Taree, before making his NRL debut three years later.
He was the NRL's leading points scorer this year, and has scored 65 tries in 96 games at the Roosters.
Australian Associated Press