Schalke 04 general manager Horst Heldt says the club have still not been able to negotiate a new contract with star striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar.
The Dutchman, who was the leading scorer in the Bundesliga last season, is playing on a deal which expires at the end of the current campaign.
The 29-year-old is sure to attract interest from several of Europe's top clubs if he becomes a free agent and Schalke are keen to tie him down at the Veltins-Arena.
But the Gelsenkirchen-based team admit that talks over a proposed new deal are not yet at an advanced stage.
"The proposed contract extension of Klaas-Jan Huntelaar remains one of the hottest issues around. We are still unable to finalise any concrete schedule with regard to it," Heldt told Sport-BILD.
Clemens Tonnies, chairman of the board at the club, hinted that Schalke are preparing to deal with Huntelaar's departure in a worst-case scenario.
Tonnies added: "It's our obligation not to go for broke in this affair. We also have to make sure we are aware of alternative solutions, just if it comes to the worst of all."
Huntelaar has scored twice in five league matches so far this season and has also netted in the UEFA Champions League.