Chief executive Lawrie McKinna insists Steve Ugarkovic has an "ironclad" contract at the Newcastle Jets and expects the midfielder to be at pre-season training on Monday.
In a stunning development, Ugarkovic revealed on Friday his reluctance "to be part of another rebuild" at the Jets and has sought a release from the final year of his deal.
That request has been flatly refused by McKinna.
"He is a contracted player and we expect him to be at training on Monday. It is as simple as that," McKinna said. "There is no get-out clause, it's ironclad.
"He is a top player for us and we respect what he has done for the club. He has been here four or five years. He is a professional and has always handled himself very well. We expect him to be at training and have a great season."
Ugarkovic has reportedly attracted interest from two European clubs, seven in the A-League plus China, Japan and the Middle East.
He can't formally talk with suitors - in Australia or abroad - until after December 1 and any move before the end of the 2020-21 A-League season would require compensation for the Jets.
"If an overseas club wants Steve - I have spoken to Steve and his agent when there has been potential interest before - then, of course, we are open to negotiating."
The Jets confirmed on Friday that Nick Fitzgerald had been released from the final year of his contract to take up a lucrative offer from Indian Super League club Jamshedpur. McKinna said the Jets received compensation.
Fitzgerald had two years to run at Western Sydney when he joined the Jets and the Herald understands that Wanderers paid part of his salary last season. .
The A-League salary cap is expected to be cut from $3.2million to $2.1m due to a reduction in the broadcast deal and annual grant to clubs.
Fitzgerald is the fourth player to be sold or loaned out mid-contract and follows Dimi Petratos, James Donachie and Matt Millar.
Ongoing uncertainty over the Jets ownership and last week's exit of coach Carl Robinson are behind Ugarkovic's request to depart.
"I've given everything for the Jets in my time here but at this stage of my career I don't want to be part of another rebuild," he told SBS The World Game. "I've told the club but they're not willing to support or make any compromise and that's not very comforting.
"Ideally, I'd rather be somewhere where the future looks more solid and certain, on and off the field.
"It's tough to have a huge amount of faith (in the club) right now. I did sign on for another season after the club provided a lot of assurances on what the future would look like. But unfortunately I don't really feel that has panned out."
Football Federation Australia are conducting due diligence on a potential new owner for the Jets.
McKinna said he had received a high number of applicants for the coaching position, but an appointment would not be made until the ownership was finalised.
"We have had plenty of interest from overseas and locally and the calbre of applicants is high," McKinna said.
"No-one was happy that Carl and [assistant coach] Kenny Miller left. Steve had a great back half of the season under Carl. Obviously a few of the players are upset that he has gone. A lot of the other boys are just rolling their sleeves up and getting on with job."
The Jets have 15 senior players contracted and three on scholarships for next season.
Ramy Najjarine, who is on loan from Melbourne City, has arrived in Newcastle and completed an ECG and ECHO on Friday.
Jets players assemble on Monday for testing before hitting the training field on Tuesday.
Academy director Craig Deans, who has acted as caretaker coach previously, and youth team tactician Daniel McBreen will oversee training until a new head coach is appointed.