Hull City boss Steve Bruce has admitted he could be powerless to prevent Robert Koren leaving after learning the midfielder has a buy-out clause in his contract.
Bruce is keen to keep hold of the 31-year-old, who will become a free agent next summer, and has already started talks over a new deal amid reports Leicester, led by former Tigers boss Nigel Pearson, are renewing interest in his services.
But Bruce's hopes of retaining Koren have been dented by a clause in his current contract which states he is free to talk to other clubs if they match an undisclosed valuation, understood to be in the region of £500,000.
"I've got to be honest and say things are complicated because he has a buy-out in his contract which I've found out in the last week or 10 days," Bruce told the Hull Daily Mail.
"We hope we can persuade him to stay. That's certainly our intention, but I'm not going to try and lie to supporters because there is a problem with the buy-out.
"If a club reaches that then we'll have a problem with it I would envisage. That's what we've inherited and that's what we've got to deal with.
"We don't want him to leave, but we're powerless really if someone matches that price and he wants to go. But I'll do my utmost to try and keep him."