Matty Longstaff could walk away from Newcastle United on June 30 on the last day of his contract - despite FIFA's insistence that player deals stretch until the last game of the season.
Given that the Premier League could still feasibly be completed in July or August, depending on the green light from the government, FIFA's stance has been to extend contracts until all games are done and dusted.
Longstaff had not appeared for the Magpies since February 4 in the 3-2 win over Oxford on a night when pundit Martin Keown had suggested that both Matty and brother Sean looked like they were "on trial" in front of watching owner Mike Ashley.
Despite suggestions that contract talks would get under way for the 20-year-old, long before the virus pandemic, there remains no resolution and Longstaff is heading for the exit as things stand.
It is understood he has one concrete offer on the table from Serie A after being allowed to discuss terms with other clubs from January.
Leading sports lawyer Nick De Marco QC has now warned that FIFA's instructions are not legally binding.
Speaking to Sky Sports, he said: "Legally, they cannot be forced to continue to play for the club.
"Nobody can force them to do so; FIFA, the FA, the club or anybody else.
"If they want to walk away, that's a matter for them but it will really be a matter of whether, financially, that makes sense for them.
"What you're most likely to see as a preferred option is probably very short-term extensions of contracts based on existing salary terms.
"That won't suit everyone, and it can't be forced on anyone in England.
"For example, if you're a player coming towards the end of your contract and, perhaps, the end of your career, maybe you only have one more contract left, you may be very reluctant to sign a contract for only a few weeks or an indeterminate period of time.
"If you're a lower league club, financially stressed, you won't be wanting to pay players beyond June 30. So, a one-size-fits-all solution isn't going to work. It's going to depend on each case. The key is going to be agreements."
Longstaff junior burst on to the scene this term under Steve Bruce after the Geordie boss blocked a loan exit for the youngster.
He netted a wonder goal on his full Premier League debut at St James' Park in a 1-0 win over Man United.
Back then club legend Alan Shearer said of Longstaff: "To get the winner at the Gallowgate End against Man United on your full debut, does it get any better than that?
"It doesn't I can promise you!"
But since then Newcastle have failed to get a deal agreed for Longstaff and the situation has alerted clubs around Europe including Inter Milan and a clutch of sides in Germany.
Other players who will see their contracts up on June 30 at Newcastle are Jack Colback, Rob Elliot and Jamie Sterry.