Cody Walker’s agent smacks down link to Latrell
The influential NRL player agent in charge of indigenous stars Cody Walker and Jack Wighton has smacked down suggestions he has any professional control over Latrell Mitchell, or speculation linking him to South Sydney.
The talk in league circles for some time now is that while Mitchell is managed by Wayde Rushton, Matt Rose is the man behind the scenes who carries considerable weight among many leading indigenous players.
Speculation has intensified in the last few days that Mitchell could now end up at South Sydney next year playing alongside Rose's star client Walker.
That is perhaps why Rose is now viewed as the man who could be called on to help resolve Mitchell's tricky predicament.
As the stalemate with the Sydney Roosters threatens to drag on into the New Year, Mitchell will be expected back at training in early January and the concern is that it could lead to a tense situation for all parties if it is not resolved soon.
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As far-fetched as it may have sounded a week ago when Souths were saying they had no interest, there are plenty of reasons why Mitchell could be a huge success at Redfern.
For starters he has a close bond with Walker and James Roberts while Greg Inglis could also offer guidance.
Throw in the fact Wayne Bennett is a master man manager who over the years has helped many young indigenous stars adjust to the high pressures of NRL life to reach their full potential.
For this to happen Mitchell would have to potentially take a considerable pay cut, and especially if Walker was to recommit to the Rabbitohs in the coming days.
Rose said he had no clue where Mitchell was heading, and it was not his intention to get involved.
"The hardest part has been that I have been speculated with Trell now for two or three years," Rose said.
"We talk to all the (indigenous) boys. We will always talk to the boys. It doesn't mean we look after them."
Rose said his only two priorities right now was trying to get the best deals for Walker and Wighton.
Rose was in Canberra on Sunday to kick start extension talks between Wighton and the Raiders after meeting with Ricky Stuart and Don Furner for breakfast.
He also met with South Sydney officials on Friday in an attempt to fast track negotiations between Walker and the Rabbitohs.
Rose said he was aware both players could probably command more money at rival clubs but that had to be weighed up against where they would be happy and successful.
There is no shortage of playmakers in recent years who have signed $1 million-plus contracts only to wear the brunt of criticism if their teams don't succeed.
Think of Ben Hunt's situation at St George Illawarra, young Ash Taylor at Gold Coast and Anthony Milford in Brisbane.
"I know how important it is to have good players around the boys," Rose said.
While the expectation is that Walker's deal could be finalised within days, Rose said there was no rush.
"We are sort of at that stage where it is not far off," Rose said.
"It could be done in a day and it could be done before Christmas. But if it doesn't get done before Christmas it is not the end of the world because it could be done in the first week of January."
While talks with the Raiders have just started, Rose said he did not envisage any major delays given he and Canberra have Wighton's welfare at heart.
"It is not really about searching, it is about where the boys will be happy," Rose said.
"We will see where things get with both their respective clubs and if that works it works. If not I know there are plenty of options out there."