Attacker Scott Wright looks set to exit Aberdeen for England after talks on a new contract stalled.
Dons boss Derek McInnes today confirmed Wright has indicated he wants to look at other options away from Pittodrie.
It is a bitter blow for the Dons, who are desperate to retain one of the standout performers this season.
McInnes insists the Dons did “all we can” in a bid to try to retain the 23-year-old on a new deal.
Pittodrie youth academy graduate Wright is out of contract at the end of the season and will be free to leave for nothing in the summer.
Wright has been free to talk to other interested clubs since the January transfer window opened.
McInnes said: “It looks as if Scott is looking at trying something different, maybe looking down South unfortunately.
“From our point of view, we are really keen for Scott to stay, but he just wants to keep his options open at the minute.
“We have done all we can to try and get Scott to stay.
“But we are now four months in and are not any further forward.
“We have not been able to reach an agreement.
“Scott and his agent have indicated they want to look at options and are not in a position to commit.”
Wright missed most of last season having undergone cruciate ligament surgery in September 2019.
He has been pivotal to McInnes’ plans this season, but underwent double hernia surgery early last month.
Prior to undergoing surgery in Manchester, Wright indicated he would let his agent concentrate on contract talks with the club while he concentrated on his rehabilitation.
Wright returned to action off the bench in the 0-0 draw with Dundee United and is set to face Rangers on Sunday.
His attacking prowess has been missed in his absence.
Aberdeen will not give up hope of trying to thrash out a deal, but losing Wright will be a set-back.
However, there is also a potential financial hit.
Aberdeen sold youth academy graduate Scott McKenna to Nottingham Forrest earlier this season in a £3 million deal that could rise to £5m with achievable add-ons.
Losing fellow Youth Academy product Wright, potentially for nothing, will be a tough blow.