Gold Coast co-captain Steven May reportedly wants to be traded but the Suns won't get free agency compensation if he leaves.
May has reportedly met with Victorian powerhouses Hawthorn and Collingwood, fuelling speculation he could follow Tom Lynch in walking out of the Suns.
Gold Coast are understood to have considered terminating May's contract, which expires at the end of next season, by mutual consent with the key defender.
The Suns asked the AFL whether that would result in the uncontracted May automatically becoming a restricted free agent, thereby giving the club a shot at draft compensation.
The AFL is believed to have rejected that move, though was tightlipped on Friday.
"The AFL doesn't comment on the contract status of players as that is a matter for the players and their clubs," an AFL spokesman said.
Gold Coast are in line to be given pick three in this year's national draft as free agency compensation for losing Lynch, who has been linked to Richmond.
The departure of May would be a double-blow for Suns coach Stuart Dew, who has asked May of his intentions when his contract expires next year.
"As far as we're concerned, he's our player next year," Dew told AFL.com.au this week.
"We have said 'we know you're out of contract at the end of next year, we would just love to know as soon as possible where you see your career after that'.
"We want to know 'are you here for the long haul? What's your view?'
"Not many players are thinking 12 months out about where they are in that time. We're just trying to get an idea of his thoughts for post-2019."