Middlesbrough's Matthew Bates has admitted he does not want to be playing in the Championship next season.
The 22-year-old has overcome three serious knee injuries in recent years and this season become a key player in Boro's squad - playing across the defence and midfield.
However, his contract is due to expire at the end of the season and he appears all set to shun the club's offer of fresh terms and depart - although as he is under 24, Boro would be due some compensation.
West Ham are leading the chase for him, although Wigan, Everton and Sunderland are heading the rest of the pack as a number of Premier League clubs want to offer him a route straight back to the top-flight following Boro's relegation.
And Bates admits he has no ambition to be playing at the Championship, just as he fledgling career looks set to take off.
"I don't know (whether I'll not be playing Premier League football). Maybe I will be playing in it (Premier League). There's decisions to be made," said Bates.
"I'm a professional footballer and I've missed a lot of football despite being just 22. The last thing I really want to do is play in the Championship.
"I want to play Premier League football and progress in my career as far as I can but I'm also a massive Boro supporter and I want to help them get back into the Premier League.
"Whether I'm there or not next season is another story.
"There's a big decision to be made and I'll have to sit down in the next few weeks and make that decision.
"I'm considering everything at the moment and I have a lot of thinking to do and big decisions to make.
"I'll sit down with my family, my agent and speak to the manager of Middlesbrough and see where we go from here.
"It's important that I go away, clear my head. Middlesbrough is a club I've supported all my life, all my family supports them and being relegated means just as much to me as it does to the fans.
"There's some big decisions to be made."
Another player who looks set to leave - Gary O'Neil - insists the club are right to stand by manager Gareth Southgate.
"He's a fantastic manager, I can't speak too highly of him," he said.
"He's been fantastic with me.
"He works every hour he can to improve as a manager and do what's right for the football club.
"I know we will be looking to bounce back, and he's definitely the right man to take us back up."
O'Neil admits he will be considering his own options over the summer.
"I haven't thought about myself yet. But I would think there will be players leaving and I think there will be a few incoming too," he said.
"I have got the summer now to go away and think about it."
Meanwhile, the club have confirmed that David Wheater (knee) and Chris Riggott (ankle) have both undergone successful operations and will be ready to return for pre-season.