Chesterfield have admitted defeat in their attempt to tie highly-rated striker Jamie Ward down to a new long-term contract.
The Spireites were hoping to stave off interest in the 22-year-old hitman following reports of interest in his services from Championship clubs.
But the club's 12-goal top-scorer now seems certain to be leaving Saltergate when his current deal expires at the end of the season.
"We're aware that Jamie is ambitious and had hoped he'd sign a new improved contract, which in fairness would have included a get-out clause should a higher-level club have made an acceptable offer for him in the future," manager Lee Richardson told the club's official website.
"For the moment the negotiations have ended so we get on with the football, which is what it's all about.
"There's been speculation about interest from other clubs but the situation is now very much in Chesterfield's court because the player won't be going anywhere this season unless the deal's acceptable to the football club."