Jamie Carragher has admitted he will consider what the future holds when he becomes surplus to requirements with Liverpool.
The defender has been with the Anfield outfit for his entire career, having come through the ranks of the club’s youth team to make his mark as a Kop hero.
But the 32-year-old accepts that there will come a time when he is no longer assured of a first-team place and knows that could well be the point when he brings the curtain down on his Merseyside career.
Article continues below ...
"The idea of being described as a ‘squad player’ doesn’t appeal to me," he told the News of the World.
"I dread to think the time might come to play somewhere other than Liverpool. For as long as I’m good enough to be in the team here, I’m playing and I feel physically I can do myself justice, there’s nowhere else I’d want to be.
"But like anyone at this stage of their career, I have no choice but to think about the possibilities beyond that.
"I’ve only ever known one club, but I’m interested in how other clubs operate. There’s more to football than The Liverpool Way and I’d like to hear different ideas."
Former team-mate Robbie Fowler is currently playing in Australia, while following in the footsteps of former England captain David Beckham and heading to America is another option Carragher could consider.
"An experience like that appeals to me," he admitted. "The only thing that might put me off is whether the kids and family would want to move.
"But I like the idea that when I’ve gone as far as I can at Liverpool I could enjoy that kind of vastly different experience.
"Sometimes you feel something new is exciting. If I did play anywhere else I think that’s the route I’d look at.
"It wouldn’t be for football reasons, but to get a sense of a different way of life.
"I’m not sure I’d get anything out of playing for a Premier League team struggling in mid-table or fighting relegation. I’d get no satisfaction and wouldn’t see the point of putting myself through it. I’d just be giving my body a battering, really."
Liverpool’s current campaign has been a major disappointment, with early exits from the Champions League, FA Cup and Carling Cup.
Rafa Benitez’s men are also well off the pace in the Premier League and face a tough battle just to ensure they are dining at Europe’s top table again next term.
Carragher knows that simply fighting for fourth is not acceptable for a club of Liverpool’s standing and believes their squad will have to be strengthened in the summer if they are to challenge for the title next term.
"You have to be realistic and recognise over the course of the season you’re not going to get that first 11 on the pitch every week so the back-up has to be strong," he said.
"I’m sure there will be changes in the summer, and the main thing for us is keeping the top players here.
"There are times you feel you’re a long way off, but it may only need some top-class additions for us to get back up there.
"I’d say we need two or three good buys and we wouldn’t be as far away as many think.
"We just need beefing up. I know next year we don’t want to be fighting for fourth again. To do that we’ll have to strengthen the squad."