David Alaba says he can imagine taking on a new challenge away from Bayern Munich.
The versatile Austria international has been on Bayern's books for his entire senior career, briefly representing Hoffenheim in a loan stint during the second half of the 2010-11 campaign.
Alaba has a contract at the Allianz Arena running until June 2021 and is one of the most highly-rated defenders in world football, meaning his words in an interview with Austrian newspaper Kurier will not have gone unnoticed.
"I am aware that this decision will come to me. I still feel very comfortable here, but I can also imagine taking a different path, taking the next step or looking for a new challenge," he said.
"But I leave that decision open. I have goals for this season that I want to achieve, so there's no room for that right now."
Push it to the limit March 1, 2018
In the meantime, the 25-year-old sees himself taking on greater responsibility at Bayern.
"I am at an age where I have had a lot of experience and where I would like to take the next step in my career," he said.
"It is also part of taking the next step in Bayern, of growing into a leadership role, assuming responsibility and passing on my experience - especially for young players who follow suit. I think that the club expects me to slip into a leadership role."
Alaba has previously stated his ambition to operate as a central midfielder, as he does for Austria, but is happy to remain at left-back amid fierce competition at Bayern.
"It is still no secret that I feel very comfortable [in midfield]," he added.
"But we all know that here at Bayern Munich on the left side with [Franck] Ribery or [Kingsley] Coman works very well and maybe I am one of the best in the world in this position."
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