Everton's Dan Gosling is free to join another club after an independent hearing ruled the midfielder no longer has a contract with the Merseysiders.
The 20-year-old's deal expired at the end of last month and although the Toffees had made a verbal offer to the player they had not put it in writing.
That meant Gosling could leave Goodison Park without Everton being entitled to a fee despite him being under 21, which usually triggers some sort of compensation for the work the club have invested in his coaching. The case went to the Premier League and a panel ruled in the player's favour.
"An independent hearing, convened under Premier League Rules, was held last week to look into the contractual status of Dan Gosling," said a statement released by the Premier League.
"Having looked into the matter, and considered the arguments of both Everton and the player, it was determined that the player is unattached and entitled to a free transfer.
"This is subject to a right of appeal by Everton which must be brought within 14 days of the decision."
Everton refused to comment on the case or their next course of action.