Aston Villa loanee Ryan Bertrand plans to make a decision on his long-term future at the end of the season.
Now 24 years of age, the England international acknowledges that he needs to be playing regularly at this stage of his career.
He has struggled to hold down a starting berth at parent club Chelsea, which has led to him seeking opportunities away from Stamford Bridge.
Jose Mourinho has insisted that Bertrand still forms part of his plans in west London, but the left-back faces stiff competition for places from Ashley Cole and Cesar Azpilicueta.
Taking that into account, the ambitious defender will use the summer transfer window to weigh up his options and decide which path to take.
Bertrand said in the Birmingham Mail: "It's flattering to hear what Jose Mourinho said but there's no more waiting around for me in terms of wanting to be a Chelsea player.
"Come the summer I need to be the No.1 left-back, wherever that will be.
"I have ambitions but I have to be realistic as well. I will sit down and consider all my options.
"Staying here isn't something I would rule out. I've had years of playing but since I was 17 I have been on loan, basically.
"I've spent the past few years at Chelsea, in and out of the team, and the experience I've gained from that is I'm happy just playing. That's what it comes down to in football.
"If you're getting the respect from your peers that you deserve, that means a lot."
Bertrand, who linked up with Villa in January, could be a contender for a place in England's World Cup squad if he continues to perform consistently through to the end of the campaign, but he insists he is giving little thought to international recognition at this stage.
He added: "I'm not too focused on England.
"I'm sure everyone secretly anticipates certain things, but my aim this season is to be playing consistently in the Premier League.
"We have good competition for places at Villa. It is up to me to get my head down on the training pitch and get in the team."