Linares was ordered to defend his belt against number one contender Dejan Zlaticanin this spring, although has suffered with injuries since his latest victory and is now facing a long spell out with a broken hand.
Montenegrin Zlaticanin is certain to fight for the vacant 135-pound belt, possibly against Italian veteran and former IBO title holder Emiliano Marsili, after seeing a clash with Linares fall apart.
The undefeated number one contender earned a high ranking with the WBC by defeating ex-world champion Ricky Burns on UK soil back in June 2014. The 31 year-old southpaw then followed that up with a final eliminator victory over Ivan Redkach and has been waiting over eight months for his expected shot.
Marsili, 39 out-pointed Gamaliel Diaz last August in Lazio and has drawn just once in 33 contests when splitting ten rounds with Giovanni Niro a decade ago.
The Sicilian holds eye-catching victories over Derry Mathews in Liverpool and countryman Luca Giacon, although in truth, has rarely stepped up into world class during his nine-year career.