Hearts striker John Sutton has been made redundant by the Edinburgh club.
Sutton had a year left on his contract but it is understood he refused to take a pay cut as Hearts, in
aim to reduce costs.
The 29-year-old now looks likely to join Scottish Premier League rivals Motherwell.
Motherwell manager Stuart McCall confirmed earlier that the Fir Park outfit were in talks with Sutton.
Sutton scored 43 goals in three seasons at Motherwell between 2008 and 2011.
Hearts began pre-season training on Thursday, with manager Gary Locke overseeing a reduced pool of 21 players, including three goalkeepers.
"It's now a chance for me to focus on something else," Locke told the club website.
"The last 10 days have been very difficult but I am now surrounding myself with players who want to play for Hearts.
"It's not the size of squad we are used to working with but the boys are all up for the challenge."