Michael Owen has hinted he will consider retiring if Manchester United don't offer him a new contract at the end of this season.
Owen's current deal expires at the end of the season and the former Liverpool and Real Madrid striker has yet to be offered a new contract. The 30-year-old has endured an injury-ravaged time with United and is sidelined again at present due to a hamstring problem.
He has started just six league games since arriving at Old Trafford last year and with the emergence of young Mexico striker Javier Hernandez this season, Owen knows there is decent chance boss Sir Alex Ferguson will deem him surplus to requirements.
"I would honestly love to stay but you will have to ask the manager about the long term. I could score at this level for many years and would love it to be at a top club like United," Owen told The Sun. "Whether I would want to be dropping down to a poorer Premier League team, I don't know. Yes I could score goals but I would probably get less opportunities and less enjoyment.
"I just don't feel my game is suited to a team that is really struggling. I won't drop down leagues. I have played in big teams before and played every game and I have played in a struggling team. I know which I prefer. When you play here, you play with quality.
"I was fit for most of last season but got the injury in the League Cup final. I'd like to play as much this season but this injury has been a kick in the teeth."
Owen, 30, is already looking towards his post-playing career and, although he is becoming more involved in horse racing as an owner, he revealed a move into management is a distinct possibility.
"I'm on my second stage of coaching badges and management is a real possibility," he said. "Horse racing will always be a big part of my life but, if there's a job going forward, it will be in football."