Barnsley manager Paul Heckingbottom says Andy Yiadom's rejected renewal offer would have put the want-away defender among the top earners in the Championship.
The fullback has emerged as a major transfer target of Premier League sides Swansea City and Huddersfield Town following an outstanding time last season.
Having rejected initial proposals from both clubs, Barnsley, in their bid to hold on to the 25-year-old, made an attempt to offer a new contract.
"He [Yiadom] has rejected a new deal at the club," Heckingbottom told the Yorkshire Evening Post.
"He wants to see out his contract and see what things are there for him.
"It was similar when we took him from Barnet.
"One thing is for sure, we will have a hungry player on our hands who is trying to impress everybody to earn the best possible contract where he can, whether it is here or elsewhere.
"It was a very good contract offer by the club, which would have put [him] up there with the highest paid players."
Heckingbottom, earlier this week, told pressmen the club are yet to receive any fresh offers from Swansea and Huddersfield.
Huddersfield's first offer was worth £750,000, which was described as "disrespectful" by Heckingbottom.
Swansea have reportedly submitted a new £3 million bid.
Yiadom, whose current contract expires next year, joined Barnsley from Barnet last summer, having also played for Braintree Town and Hayes & Yeading FC.