Queensland Rugby Union CEO Jim Carmichael said the team had been “disappointed in a number of factors” during drawn-out negotiations to keep the 27-year-old playmaker, who had already signed a “pre-commitment” to play for French giants Toulon.
Those factors included a recent trip to France by Cooper and “unrealistic expectations made by his management,” Carmichael said in a statement.
“We have come to the difficult decision that the investment we have made previously and were prepared to continue to make has not been recognised,” he added.
“It goes without saying that Quade leaves us with our gratitude for his time with the Reds and has only our best wishes and thanks as he enters a new chapter in his career.”
Cooper leaves after 10 seasons with the Reds, having scored a franchise record 772 points in 107 games since his 2006 debut.
The New Zealand-born pivot's departure will add to the Reds' rebuilding job following the loss of Australia scrumhalf Will Genia and former Wallabies skipper James Horwill, both set to play for European clubs after the World Cup.
The trio were instrumental in driving the Reds to their maiden Super Rugby championship in 2011 under former coach Ewen McKenzie, but all have been beset by injuries since.
Queensland managed only four wins in this year's tournament, missing the playoffs for a second year in a row. – Reuters
Original source: Reds end Cooper negotiations