The Trump administration is hopeful that American pastor Andrew Brunson who is on trial in Turkey could be freed at a Friday court hearing, but the State Department said it was unaware of any deal with the Turkish government for his release.
Brunson's charges include spying for the PKK - listed as a terrorist group by both the US and Turkey - and the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind the defeated coup attempt in Turkey of July 2016.
There was optimism several months ago, including from Brunson's attorney who said in a radio interview that he expected the pastor's release at the time, followed by a decision by Turkish authorities to continue to hold the U.S. citizen under house arrest while he faced trial.
Two senior administration officials said there was no deal with Turkey for Brunson.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who has led a sustained diplomatic effort to have the pastor released, recently declared that Brunson "should have been released last month", and that he expects "he could be released this month", according to the Financial Times.
Brunson, 50, has been held for two years on what he and the Trump administration said were false terrorism- and espionage-related charges.
The case of the evangelical preacher caught up in Turkey's post-coup security sweep had garnered the attention of the highest levels of the American administration and become a sore point in the two countries' relations.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has resisted USA demands for Brunson's release, insisting that the courts are independent.
Brunson has been accused of backing outlawed Kurdish rebels and the network led by USA -based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen.
The Post said the deal included lifting US sanctions, some already imposed and others threatened.
Despite pressure from the Trump administration, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has insisted that he has no sway over the judiciary and that the courts will decide on Brunson's fate.
He was sentenced to three years in prison but will not serve time as he had already spent two years in jail.
Brunson again denied accusations that his church aided Kurdish militants, saying he had handed over a list of Syrian refugees the congregation had helped and adding that Turkish authorities would have identified any terrorists.
The court's decision of house arrest had failed to improve tensions between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies, and Washington sanctioned two Turkish officials and doubled tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminum imports.