Jeremie Aliadiere has admitted that his future may lie away from Middlesbrough after the club failed to take up an option on his contract.
Aliadiere is out of contract in the summer after Boro opted not to trigger a clause which would have seen his deal automatically extended.
The 26-year-old joined Boro in 2007 from Arsenal, but just 11 goals in over 70 appearances have followed and now Aliadiere admits he has a battle on his hands to save his Boro career.
"Whether it's with Middlesbrough or not I am playing for my future - full stop," said Aliadiere.
"They (Boro) had an option to take which they didn't and I suppose they don't feel desperate to keep me on. That's how it is.
"I've been out for a while so it's difficult to go and ask for a new deal.
"You have to play and prove it on the pitch. I'd like to stay but it's not up to me, well it is on the pitch but it's up to the chairman and the manager to keep me or not."
Boro, meanwhile, are hopeful new signing Scott McDonald will not require more hernia surgery.
The Australian international went under the knife at Celtic, prior to his move to Boro on deadline day.
He has since played for Boro, but has struggled to regain full fitness amid continued concerns over his hernia.
"It's frustrating because when you join a new club you want to show what you can do," confirmed McDonald.
"I did push myself at the start and didn't do myself any favours but I just wanted to get out there and play. The manager has shown faith in bringing me and I wanted to repay that.
"But there is no point going out if you are 75 per cent fit and not able to get to the ball that extra second sharper than the guy who's marking you. That can be the difference between you getting a goal and not.
"It's been disappointing. I've not lost confidence about it but it's been getting me down.
"So I said 'right we need to do something about this'. I'd ignored it for a little while but I went to see the specialist and thankfully I don't need another operation and we've gone down the route of having an injection. Hopefully with this week off from the training and doing rehab work, nothing strenuous, there will be no reaction and we can move on.
"Whether or not I am ready for Saturday we'll wait and see. It's just a day by day progression.
"The most important thing is if it's not this week we'll look towards the Newcastle game. But whenever I come back it has to be 100 per cent right this time. That is the most important thing for me and for Middlesbrough."
Meanwhile, Boro are being strongly linked with a move for Livingston left winger Andy Halliday - after prime target George Boyd joined Nottingham Forest.