Personally I think there was a lot more substance to what happened to Gillett then comparing your concerns about Fifita. Gillett's speculated retirement was something that had been speculated by the majority of fans despite being recently re-signed due to injury and only increased when another serious injury occured in a very short period of time after that first and well before veterans mentoring Arthars etc. This wasn't exactly something coming out of left field here, there was speculation of his retirement before 2019.I'm only concerned about Fifita being left out of that quote from Seibold because the last time I noticed something like that, it was Gillett being left out of the list of "veterans that Jesse Arthars can learn from" at the Arthars introduction, and he retired a couple of weeks later.
So, we've got precedence that the club is capable of dropping inadvertent hints like that.
Reallllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllly hope he's not signing elsewhere.
As for Fifita while he is only signed for 2020 that doesn't necessarily mean he won't be at the club past that, the club handled his drama Bali extremely well for him and the media attention on him has dropped off him particularly on his future at the club(Thats not to say clubs aren't interested in him still) . And as far as non inclusion in the leadership group I tend to agree with it. I think Fifita has some maturing to go before he is ready, suggestions of him letting himself go over the off-season aren't encouraging and the events in Bali and I look at a player like Patrick Carrigan of similar age group and Carrigan is well above him maturity wise and see him as potential future captain material. I can see Fifita being there later, but I don't think his ready right now.