Josh Maja has told Sunderland he will not be signing their contract offer - despite the club offering him seven times his current wage to stay.
Maja, the League One club's leading scorer with 15 goals, had been given until Friday to respond to the club's offer.
Sky sources understand Maja told the club of his decision at a meeting on Friday lunchtime, despite telling boss Jack Ross on Thursday that he wanted to stay.
The decision came as a surprise to Sunderland chairman Stewart Donald who revealed on Twitter he only found out about Maja's change of heart following a phone call from a Sky Sports News reporter.
He tweeted: "Josh Maja update. Yesterday Josh asked to see Jack to say he will sign. Today I got a call from Sky TV saying he won't sign.
"Josh advised his agent has said don't sign but no courtesy to tell the club - Also we offered what the agent indicated!!! Busy January ahead."
Sky sources understand Huddersfield, Crystal Palace and Cardiff are all interested in signing Maja whose current contract expires in the summer.