Chris Taylor insists he does not want to sever ties with Oldham Athletic, but feels he might have to in order to test himself at a higher level.
The 25-year-old will see his current contract with the Latics expire in the summer and has knocked back the offer of an extension.
As a home-grown talent who has spent his entire career to date at Boundary Park, he feels the time is right to make a fresh start.
He admits it will be a wrench to leave Oldham, but believes he has little choice.
"The contract they are offering is very good, I have got no qualms about it at all, but I just want to test myself and play as high as I can," Taylor told Sky Sports.
"I have been at Oldham a long time and I think I have shown good loyalty, and the club have been very good to me. It's a shame, but I would like to possibly play at a higher level."
Taylor is keen to point out that he does not want to leave Oldham, he just finds himself in an unfortunate situation where he may have to go chasing his dream elsewhere.
"It will be very difficult (to leave)," he added.
"I have been here for 10 years. It's probably harder because everyone knows that I have got so much love for the club. It's difficult. Sometimes I get too attached when we win or lose. I probably get a bit over the top because it's the club I support.
"Some people have talked rubbish, but I could easily have signed a contract and finished my career here, but I just want to progress.
"I think it's hard with the budget Oldham have got, I think it will be hard to."