Newcastle have placed defender Steven Taylor on the transfer list after failing to agree a new contract.
Taylor's current contract is due to expire at the end of the season and he would be able to leave the club on a free transfer then. As a result, the Magpies have reluctantly decided they may have to cash in on him now.
"We can confirm that Steven Taylor is on the transfer list," said a Newcastle spokesman.
The news will come as a huge blow to the club's fans, who have seen Taylor emerge from the ranks to become a genuine first-team player.
He is currently recovering from shoulder surgery after missing the second half of last season through injury.
Taylor is alleged to have suffered a broken jaw in a training ground incident involving striker Andy Carroll towards the end of the campaign, although the club drew a veil of secrecy over the matter and the issue was resolved internally.
Wednesday's news comes after a positive few days for the Magpies, who celebrated their return to the Barclays Premier League with a 6-0 demolition of Aston Villa on Sunday with Carroll scoring a hat-trick.
It may be that the club's stance is a bargaining ploy and that there could yet be movement, but the Mike Ashley regime has adopted a strict policy on wages which it is not prepared to break.
Taylor's situation has been monitored for some time by a series of potential suitors, including Liverpool and Chelsea, and while he has repeatedly stated he wants to play for his home-town club - he stayed last summer to play in the Championship when he might have moved - matters could yet be taken out of his hands.