Michael Owen admits he could hang up his boots if Manchester United release him at the end of the season.
The former England international is in the final term of a two-year deal at Old Trafford and has not yet entered talks with manager Sir Alex Ferguson over a possible contract extension.
Owen has been struggling with injuries of late, with a fresh hamstring tweak keeping him on the sidelines for a further month after a groin problem hindered the start of his campaign.
The 30-year-old has made just one Premier League start for the Red Devils this season, at Sunderland at the beginning of the month, 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 a crisis-stricken 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 UEFA Champions League or Premier League success.
Owen added: "It would not only round off my career, but put it to bed."
The veteran insists a job in football management would not be out of the question 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."