Doncaster Rovers boss Darren Ferguson insists Curtis Main has not been told to find a new club.
But he has dropped the biggest hint yet that the striker does not have a future at the Keepmoat Stadium.
Main, who still has another year to run on his contract at Rovers, has controversially opted to remain on loan at relegation rivals Oldham Athletic for the rest of the season.
He left for Boundary Park in February in search of first team football after featuring for Rovers just three times under Ferguson and has since made eight appearances for the Latics.
But, with Doncaster having dropped like a stone down League One, the terms of the loan agreement have now left Rovers open to the embarrassing possibility that a player under contract at the Keepmoat could help a relegation rival climb above them in the table.
“The deal that was done was that after 28 days it would be a decision between all three parties and if they didn’t agree, it’s up to him,” explained Ferguson.
“He’s decided to stay at Oldham, so he won’t be coming back.
“I think more and more loans are getting like that [in terms of the terms of agreement].
“For example, a player we tried to get in is on loan and the [parent] club wanted to send him back but we can’t have him because the three parties won’t agree.”
When asked if Main has been told to find new club, Ferguson replied: “He hasn’t been told that [to find a new club].
“There’s been no decisions made on any players in terms of that.
“It’s an unfortunate position we’re in that he’s made the decision he has, with a year left on his contract. But he’s made that decision because he’s playing.
“It’ll probably make my job easier in the summer.”
Asked if Main was likely to be at Oldham next season, Ferguson replied: “I don’t know. He’s got a year left.”
Rovers are currently 21st in the table with 37 points from 37 games.
Oldham are one place beneath them with 37 points from 36 games.
Just one goal separates the teams on goal difference.