Michael Owen believes Wayne Rooney could find himself lacking options if he severs ties with Manchester United at the end of the season.
Rooney, who slapped in a transfer request in 2010 because he felt United's squad was not good enough, was surprisingly dropped for the Champions League defeat by Real Madrid on Tuesday night in the kind of snub that is usually followed by a hefty shove through the door marked exit by manager Sir Alex Ferguson.
The only problem is, there are not many suitors out there, and Owen told TalkSPORT: "Sometimes when you're at the level he is at you don't have many options. If you are a mediocre player you have 20 teams in England and aboard that you can move to. If Wayne Rooney moves, where does he go to? Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Manchester City, Chelsea and PSG, there's only half a dozen teams."
He went on: "It's just speculation though.
"He's been dropped for one game and I'm sure he will bounce back.
"Obviously Wayne has got to get his head down now and start recapturing his best form
"He's certainly got the right attitude and ability to get back into the manager's thoughts."
Much interest will now be focused on Ferguson's team selection for Sunday's FA Cup quarter-final with Chelsea. If Rooney doesn't make that, it is hard to see a way back.
Owen added: "For Rooney not to start is a real kick in the teeth and it's got to be a big worry for him. It's the biggest game of the season and the manager has shuffled his pack and not included him.
"Wayne will take it one of two ways. He will either get his head down, try and improve and force his way back into the team, or he'll think, 'the manager has not picked me for the biggest game, he obviously doesn't fancy me', and it might not be the end of the story."