England flanker Hendre Fourie has rejected the offer of a new three-year contract with Leeds Carnegie.
And Leeds, relegated from the Aviva Premiership this season, have given Fourie permission to speak with other Premiership clubs.
Leeds chief executive Gary Hetherington revealed last week the club had lodged an official complaint with Premiership Rugby alleging unprofessional conduct by player agent James Adams and London Irish surrounding a possible move by Fourie to the Madejski Stadium.
The South Africa-born forward, 31, is currently contracted with Leeds for next season.
And Leeds say that any club wishing to sign him will need to negotiate a transfer fee with them.
Hetherington said: “Hendre has always been a tremendous servant to the club, and I have no doubt that he would honour his contract with the club if he was to remain at Headingley Carnegie.
“However, it is only fair to offer him the chance to speak to other clubs, given his outstanding contribution to the club over the years.
“We have made no secret of the fact that we would like him to remain at the club to help us return to the Aviva Premiership, and have offered him a new long-term contract.
“However, we will now wait to see the outcome of Hendre’s discussions before we begin negotiations on a transfer fee, if necessary.”