Sydney Roosters star Latrell Mitchell has described his NRL club's sensational decision to pull their contract offer last month as a "kick in the teeth."
Mitchell's playing future remains one of the hottest rugby league topics of the summer after informing the Roosters of his intention to explore the open market.
But the Roosters' centre revealed being surprised when he went home to Taree on the NSW mid-north coast to learn the club had withdrawn from negotiations on an extension.
Mitchell plans on confronting coach Trent Robinson and chairman Nick Politis about the developments once he returns from his off-season break.
"I said to Trent, 'Look, I want to go and explore my options, is that alright?' and he's like 'Mate, you're entitled to it'," Mitchell told NRL.com
"That's where it ended, pretty much, and that's all I took out of it.
"I said, 'Righto, well, then I'm going to go see. Then I went to pub that day, having a beer here and there, and then see the Roosters pull out of Latrell Mitchell's deal.
"And I was like, 'That's a kick in the teeth'."
As it stands, Mitchell has one year left on his deal at the Bondi-based club, but is widely tipped to be with a new team by the start of next season.
Gold Coast remain the only team openly interested in the Kangaroos' incumbent, however it is understood an official offer has yet to be made.
The Wests Tigers and South Sydney also continue to be linked with Mitchell, however both clubs publicly insist they won't be joining the race for his services.
The Roosters have also been on a mini-spending spree since the development, with the club re-signing Jared Wearea-Hargreaves and Sio Siua Taukeiaho.
While he was at pains to point out how much the Roosters had played a role in his development, Mitchell insisted securing his long-term future would be his priority.
"I've done it all my life; no one is standing in my way for what I want," he said.
"I'm going to get mine and do what I gotta do for my family and, if that's at the Roosters, then I'll stay and cherish the jumper like I always have and I always will.
"I just want to see what else is out there. I'm entitled to.
"I don't need to make a decision. I just want to talk to these fellas and see what they're offering and see what is out there - that's all I wanted to do."
Australian Associated Press