Michael Owen admits he could retire if Manchester United release him at the end of the season.
The former England international signed a two-year deal at Old Trafford when he arrived last year and has not yet entered talks with manager Sir Alex Ferguson over a possible contract extension.
Owen has been struggling with injuries in the latter part of his career, with a fresh hamstring strain keeping him on the sidelines for a further month after a groin problem hindered the start of his campaign.
The England striker has made just one Premier League start for United this season, but the striker admits he has no interest in playing for a ‘poorer’ top flight club.
“I would honestly love to stay but you will have to ask the manager about the long term,” Owen said in The Sun.
“I could score at this level for many years and would love it to be at a top club like United.
“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.”
Owen admits he would not go back to a struggling side having spent time at Newcastle before arriving at Old Trafford.
He added: “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.”
Owen says if he does quit after this season, he would love to do it on the back of a Champions League or Premier League success.
Owen added: “It would not only round off my career, but put it to bed.”
The veteran has also not ruled out the possibility of a job in football management when he does eventually call time on his playing days.
“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.”