Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata has given his first indication that he may leave the club amid mounting interest from Arsenal, admitting a lack of first team football may force him to consider his options.
Having started just one La Liga game for Carlo Ancelotti's side this campaign reports continue to suggest the Gunners will look to take the 21-year-old either on a loan deal until the end of the season or on a permanent deal in a bid to ease their own concerns up front.
The Real Madrid coach has insisted he is not willing to allow Morata – or any member of his first team squad – to leave the Bernabeu this winter. While the player himself is ignoring speculation regarding his immediate future, he is aware that a lack of first team football in the Spanish capital may see him leave at some point in the future.
"Real Madrid have been my team since I was little and will be all my life, but I think the important thing is to have a relevant role in the team," Morata told Minuto 116.
"If I ever feel that's not the case, I would look at other options. In football, it's very difficult to stay at the top and even more so in a team like Real.
"Moving up to the first team is tricky, not everyone deals with it well. If you learn how to handle it, you realise the value of every minute.
"Maybe in five or 10 minutes you have to go on and be decisive in a game. In football every minute is golden."
Despite underlining his intention to fight for a first team role during the summer, Morata may have to consider life away from Madrid given the side's wealth of attacking options. Karim Benzema remains Ancelotti's first choice striking option, while another of the club's youth products in Jese has been introduced off the bench instead of Morata in recent months.
Wenger is understood to prefer waiting until the summer to make significant additions to his squad, but may feel business during the January window is now necessary should the club wish to continue their march towards the Premier League crown.