Colchester defender George Elokobi feels he has been left with little option but to demand a transfer.
The Cameroon-born full back has earned rave reviews at Layer Road this season, but was unexpectedly dropped by manager Geraint Williams for their recent game with Leicester.
Now with the likes of Charlton, Norwich, Ipswich, Crystal Palace and Watford all believed to be tracking Elokobi, he has asked for a move.
"I have played 14 games on the bounce and then I was dropped for the game live on Sky Sports. I was told how this came about by the manager and I was baffled," the 21-year-old explained to skysports.com.
"I must have been doing something right to be in the team anyway, and I obviously don't pay much attention to the media - but I know clubs have been watching me.
"I am a young player who just wants to be playing first-team football, I want to improve and I can only do that by playing and so I have asked for a transfer."
Elokobi feels he has proved himself after forging his way in the game after joining Colchester from non-league Dulwich Hamlet in 2004.
"I did my graft when I first signed and nobody thought I would still be with the club now, but I have worked hard to get to where I am," he continued.
"This is nothing to do with the club, I love it here and the fans, and whatever happens in the future they will always have a place in my heart.
"Also this is not a money issue - that has never motivated me, but sometimes you need to play at the highest level possible and if you have a once in a lifetime opportunity you have to take it."
Elokobi's representative Eddie Duah emphasised that current talks had no bearing on the player's decision to ask for a move.
"I have had a number of meetings with Colchester, but they have yet make him an offer," Duah told skysports.com.
"However, George's decision was because he was dropped and has not played since - and solely for that reason."
Williams reacted to the news by saying: "I am obviously very disappointed that George feels it necessary to hand in this transfer request.
"Whilst I can't do anything about transfer speculation, there have been no offers for George and we do not want to encourage any, because we feel that he has a bright future here," he told the club's website.
"I know his attitude will not change and I expect him to continue giving 100% to try and force his way back into the team."