The immediate playing futures of Sam Perrett and Anthony Mitchell are in limbo after their planned mid-season transfers were put on hold when Sydney Roosters officials refused to grant them releases.
Perrett has signed a three-year contract with Canterbury, while Mitchell has agreed to a deal with North Queensland and both players were anticipating joining their new clubs immediately but Roosters management had a change of heart.
The pair are still hoping to make the moves but if the Roosters don't formally release them before June 30 they will have to see out the remainder of the season with the Bondi-based club.
After yesterday signing Manly winger Michael Oldfield on a two-year deal, it is believed the Roosters are keen for him to join them immediately and would be prepared to let Perrett go if he did.
The Sydney Morning Herald was told that Roosters officials had indicated they would release Perrett and Mitchell but injuries prompted a change of heart, with star centre Shaun Kenny-Dowall out for a month with a back injury and winger Peni Tagive sidelined by a hamstring tear. Perrett and Mitchell played in Sunday's 42-28 defeat of Wests Tigers at Leichhardt Oval and told teammates afterwards that they were leaving the club.
There were emotional scenes yesterday at the Roosters' recovery session as Perrett farewelled his teammates and he was expected to attend Bulldogs training at Belmore later in the day.
Canterbury coach Des Hasler was understood to be planning to name Perrett today in the Bulldogs team to take on Melbourne in Sunday's top-of-the-table clash against Melbourne at Mackay's Virgin Australia Stadium.
However, as of last night Perrett and Mitchell did not know where their next game would be and both may now instead line up for the Roosters against Manly in Sunday's clash at Allianz Stadium.
Roosters coach Brian Smith and chief executive Steve Noyce did not return the Sydney Morning Herald's calls, while Canterbury chief executive Todd Greenberg and Cowboys football general manager Peter Parr were also unavailable for comment.
Perrett declined to comment on his move to the Bulldogs at yesterday's recovery session at Coogee Beach and his manager Mike Newton referred the Sydney Morning Herald's inquiries to Roosters management.
Canterbury have also signed Perrett's brother, Lloyd, a promising front-rower who played in the NSW under-18s team that beat Queensland in the curtain-raiser to last Wednesday night's second Origin match, and the Roosters are known to be unhappy to have lost him after investing in his development.
Sam, who has played 19 Tests on the wing for New Zealand, has been at the Roosters since 2004 and has played 147 NRL matches for the club.
With Steve Turner (knee) and Tim Lafai (shoulder) ruled out for the season, Bryson Goodwin (spleen) not due back for six weeks and Michael Lett having quit the club for a mining job, Hasler wants Perrett now to cover an injury crisis in his outside backs.
The Bulldogs last month signed Kiwi centre Krisnan Inu from the Warriors and he has played a starring role in the club's three wins since he joined the club against Cronulla, the Roosters and St George Illawarra.
With the likes of Turner, Goodwin, Kris Keating, David Stagg, Dene Halatau, Joel Romelo and Jonathan Wright among 14 players yet to be re-signed, Canterbury have plenty of room to move in their salary cap for next year.
The club has also signed Manly and Australian strike forward Tony Williams on a massive four-year deal, while boom in-form prop Sam Kasiano recently re-signed for three years.
Meanwhile, the Roosters have signed young Manly utility back Michael Oldfield to a two-year NRL deal.
He will join the Roosters from the Sea Eagles from next season.
Roosters' recruitment manager Peter O'Sullivan believes 21-year old Oldfield will be a valuable asset to the club.
"2012 has been a breakthrough year for Michael. He is one of the fastest runners of the ball in the NRL. Standing at an athletic 6'2" (185cm), he is one of the best catchers in the game under the high ball and has scored 12 tries in just 22 NRL games, including a hat-trick a few weeks ago," said O'Sullivan.
"Michael has played fullback, wing and centre and gives us great depth and coverage across the backline.
"We see him taking his game to the next level as a member of the young squad developing together here at the Roosters and we look forward to welcoming him to the club in 2013."
Oldfield, who is a doing business degree at university, will be reunited with former teammates Jared Waerea-Hargreaves and Lama Tasi.
-Sydney Morning Herald and AAP
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