Sheffield Tigers and Workington Comets have hit deadlock in talks over Kyle Howarth.
Tigers want to take Howarth, who skippered the side to the Championship title last season, to race for them again next year.
But Comets chiefs are protecting their asset base and it appears they are keen to use him themselves – or sell for a full transfer fee rather than loan.
It means Howarth is currently on the sidelines wondering where he’ll be racing but is already on the record stating he wants an Owlerton return.
“It’s up to Sheffield and Workington to try and work it out between them,” he said.
“I know where I want to be and I’ve been saying it since the end of last season but I’m leaving it to the two clubs to try and sort it.
“I like the people at both clubs and I’ve had good times at both, but I’d like the situation sorting as soon as possible.”
Sheffield co-promoter Damien Bates said: “We have to respect the fact that Kyle is a Workington asset and I won’t hide the fact we’ve had talks with them to try and do a deal for him.
“But for one reason or another this hasn’t been possible so far and if it cannot be resolved then we will have to revisit the situation.
“I’m hoping we can find some common ground and we can agree on something because we know Kyle wants to come back to Sheffield, he’s already gone public in saying that.
“We have two team places left to fill and I fully expect us to name another rider this side of Christmas.
“I’m pleased with the way team building is going although we would like to have Kyle sorted and in the bag, but as I say we have to respect the fact that we are in Workington’s hands and they are protecting their own interests.”