KARLEIGH Osborne insists he would rather leave Brentford this month and net the club a fee than walk away for free in the summer.
The Bees centre-back is out of contract at the end of the season, by which time he will have turned 24, meaning Brentford would get no compensation if he left for another club.
And with talks over a new contract at a deadlock, the Bees face either bowing to Osborne's wage demands or risk losing a player who they have nurtured for a decade for nothing.
Osborne said: “I don't know where things stand at the moment. Brentford offered me something, I came back with something else and we couldn't agree. I have heard nothing back since, and the next thing I know I am up for sale.
“Hopefully the club will come back with a better offer, but they will do what is best for them, while I have to do what is best for me.
“I have been at Brentford for 10 years now, and I would love them to get some cash for me if I go. I would prefer not to walk away on a free.”
League One rivals Charlton were so keen to sign Osborne last summer that they put in four bids around the £100k mark – all of which were turned down by the Bees.
However, Brentford boss Uwe Rosler has made it clear he would also rather sell now and get a fee, but it remains to be seen if Charlton or anyone else will come back in with an offer.
Osborne said: “I'm an ambitious person and I want to play at the highest level possible, hopefully with Brentford.
“But I'm stuck in limbo at the moment. I've had no contact with Charlton, all I know is if the club gets the right offer, then they will sell me.”