The 30-year-old was quoted in the Belgium press saying he was considering his future at West Brom because he has failed to become a regular starter in the side.
Mowbray says he would have liked the player to have spoken to him rather than air his views in the press, but admits he has every right to speak and if he wants to leave he can.
"It (the quotes) surprised me when I saw them but Carl Hoefkens is a man, not a little boy," Mowbray told the Birmingham Mail.
"I don't rule this place with an iron rod or the type who makes sure that anybody who says anything out of line is smashed down.
"It's not like that. Carl is well within his rights to speak.
"I always prefer people to air their disappointment to me and not publicly because I think it can erode team camaraderie if individuals start speaking out.
"I understand that it's better for the media the more players they can find to speak about dissension.
"But I understand Carl's frustration because he is an experienced international player who hasn't been playing in the Premier League and it's not as if we have been ripping the place up defensively."I have always said that if players want to leave I've got no problem with it.
''Carl should come and see me and we will try to facilitate whatever he wants as long as it fits into the business model of our club.
"We're not in the business of giving people away but if Carl feels he sees his future elsewhere then so be it."