Birmingham City striker Clinton Morrison is stalling on signing a new contract with the club while he assesses his domestic and international future.
Morrison, who joined Blues as their record signing in July 2002, has endured a staccato career at St Andrew's gratifying and frustrating in equal measure but ultimately unable to score often enough to hold down a regular starting position.
However, throughout that time he has always had the salvation of being virtually an automatic selection for his country, Republic of Ireland, and has bagged seven goals in 26 games since he made his debut in 2001.
But even that seems to be changing now with the callup to the senior squad of Sunderland's Irish Under-21 forward Stephen Elliott and that, combined with his travails at Birmingham, has caused him to evaluate his prospects.
Morrison's manager at City, Steve Bruce, recently confirmed he wants to make Walter Pandiani a more permanent member of his team after his loan deal from Deportivo La Coruna expires at the end of the season.
And with Emile Heskey back in the England fold, and Robbie Blake trying to justify his £1.2 million price tag since his move from Burnley, the 25-year-old has found himself struggling to string together two games in a row.
His mood has altered dramatically. After the Republic's 1-0 win over Portugal in a Lansdowne Road friendly on February 9, Morrison made it clear he was willing to stay and fight for his place and put pen to paper on a new deal being offered by Bruce.
But since then he has played just 65 minutes of first-team football, coming off after an hour of a 2-0 defeat to Crystal Palace last month and then playing just two minutes as substitute to Pandiani in Sunday's derby victory over Aston Villa.
With the World Cup on the horizon next summer, Morrison can see himself keeping the bench warm in Germany should the Republic qualify from a tight Group Four.
"I'm keeping my options open which is always the best way," said Morrison yesterday. "All any footballer wants to do is play football, not just sit on the bench, and at the moment I am sitting on the bench.
"The manager [Bruce] has offered me something, but I don't want to sign it right now. I want to wait until the end of the season and see what happens."
Morrison can also sense Elliott breathing down his neck, adding: "Stephen is a young striker who is doing well at Sunderland and is one for the future.
"He is coming through, so you do have a slight worry and look over your shoulder every now and again, but I've got confidence in my ability to stay in the team.
"I know he is playing regular football and scoring goals, but I've scored goals in that division, so I'm not going to get into a debate about whether he has scored goals.
"I've proved I can score goals in that division which is just a step up to the Premier League, and I don't think I've done too badly scoring seven goals in 12 starts.
"So I don't worry about other people. I just look at what Clinton Morrison is doing and if he is producing when he puts on that green jersey then he should stay in the team. If I keep playing like I do then I don't think I should be dropped."
Meanwhile, back at home, Pandiani is receiving eulogies from all directions. Steve Bruce has recently spoken of his admiration for the Uruguayan as has one of his former team-mates at La Coruna.
Deportivo keeper Gustavo Munua has admitted that the Galician side are missing the man known who has come to be known as The Rifle.
Munua believes that the striker's loan move to Birmingham City in January left a big hole in Depor's attack that has not been filled.
"Pandiani is a great player who I got on very well with, and it is obvious that when a great player leaves, you always going to feel it," Munua said.
Bruce has been equally positive saying that he is confident he will be able to sign Pandiani on a permanent basis.
"We are in pole position because Walter is here and there are eight games to go - we will see what happens over the next few weeks," said Bruce.
"I've seen all sorts of things being reported saying he's going here, there and everywhere.
"He's our player to the end of the season and over the next few weeks, we will see what develops.
"But it is clear the fans have taken to him and in the recent game at West Brom he played with the help of injections in an ankle injury when many players wouldn't have even considered playing."
Elsewhere tests have revealed that Stephen Clemence's rib injury is not as bad as first feared.
The Blues midfielder was forced to leave the field in agony during Sunday's 2-0 victory over Villa, after a collision with Thomas Hitzlsperger in the 73rd minutes left him nursing a painful blow to the chest.
Clemence, who subsequently described the pain as the "worse than when I injured my knee ligaments at Tottenham" had a precautionary X-ray earlier this week.
Fortunately medical staff at St Andrew's found no fractures and Clemence should resume light training towards end of this week before returning to full training at beginning next week.