Ekstein's contract with Amakhosi is set to expire in June this year and, according to a source close to both the player and the club, they could not agree terms after meeting last week.
Ekstein could not travel to Mpumalanga with his Amakhosi teammates for the Absa Premiership clash against SuperSport United on Friday. The midfielder also did not feature in the game against Maritzburg United last week.
Ekstein is free to sign a pre-contract with any team, but the player had always wanted to give Chiefs first option.
“The player was presented with a new offer last week, but it was far away from what he expected,” said the source.
“He turned down the offer and asked the club to improve it. He is waiting for the club to come back with a much improved contract,” he added.
Chiefs recently awarded Kgotso Moleko, Ramahlwe Mphahlele and Bernard Parker with new contracts.