Michael Owen has given the biggest hint yet that he could leave Manchester United at the end of the season, if he isn't given more first-team opportunities reports the Daily Mirror.
The 31-year-old former England international netted a brace in his first appearance of the season against Leeds United in the Carling Cup on Tuesday, sending out a message that he still has plenty to offer.
Red Devils boss Sir Alex Ferguson was full of praise for Owen's contribution, not only on the pitch, but his overall approach and professionalism in and around Old Trafford.
Whilst the comments are likely to please Owen, it is game-time he is really looking for and admitted he may be forced to look elsewhere if the opportunities to play are not forthcoming.
"I'm not content if I'm not playing and I don't want anybody to think that," he said. "I get criticised a lot by people who say I don't play, but I pick my money up. I'm not proud of that fact. I want to play all the time.
"I obviously know my position in the squad. We have got some top strikers and it is no shame on me that we've got the likes of Wayne Rooney, Chicharito, Danny Welbeck and Dimitar Berbatov. That's not a negative on me in any way.
"I appreciate there are some top players in the team and the squad, so it's challenge to get on the bench, let alone the team."
In his first season at Old Trafford, Owen featured regularly for Manchester United but last year was restricted to only a handful of appearances, due to the good form of his fellow strikers.
"The first season was fantastic and I played in loads of games and had some great moments - like scoring in the cup final," he continued. "There was also the Wolfsburg hat-trick and the goal against Man City. I had some great highs.
"Then, last year, I qualified for a medal and played in a dozen games in the Premier League as well as the cups. It was probably not quite enough to be content, but we won the league and obviously that was a first for me and fantastic.
"If the season was going to be like the first season I was here, I would be delighted. That was fantastic, I felt involved. I was always on the bench or playing or coming on and I want to be involved like that again.
"I've got a few years left and I would love them to be at Manchester United. For that to happen, I would need to be involved because the manager would not want me if I was not part of the squad."
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