Radamel Falcao has warned that he will sign for Manchester United permanently only if he is given a more prominent first-team role.
The Colombian insisted that he wanted to stay at Old Trafford, but the forward admitted that he was frustrated by the fact that he had been confined to a substitute's role by niggling injuries and a lack of match sharpness.
Falcao, 28, has been hampered by a knee problem since signing from Monaco on a season-long loan. He has started only three games, making another five appearances from the bench. He appreciates that he has to be patient given the competition for places in United's attack, but he is also realistic. At his age and with his pedigree, he does not want to be a member of the supporting cast.
"From my point of view, yes, I want to stay but obviously I have to analyse the situation," said Falcao, whose only goal for United came in the 2-1 victory against Everton at the start of October. "I'll see if I play more and see what decision the board takes. But from my point of view, I really want to stay.
"I feel ready for the moment that the team needs me. Whenever I have the opportunity to come on I try to do my best for the coach and I try to help the team.
"Every footballer wants to play, no one is happy when they are not -playing, when they are on the bench, but whenever I am given the opportunity, whether it be for five, 10, 20 or 90 minutes, I have to give my best."
For United's perspective, they still need to be convinced that Falcao is able to return to full fitness after such a serious knee injury. So far, the striker has not been able to prove that he is worth the pounds 43.5?million needed to turn his loan move into a permanent switch.
With Robin van Persie returning to something like his best form in recent weeks and Wayne Rooney, the club captain, an integral part of manager Louis van Gaal's team, Falcao will not find it easy to break into the side, let alone stay there when everyone is fit.
"We talk a lot, the coach and I," said Falcao, who tried to speed up his rehabilitation after surgery in the spring to repair the damage in his knee in a failed bid to play in the World Cup finals in Brazil in the summer. "He has a philosophy that I respect. I have had an injury, and I have had to wait for the opportunity to play.
"I am very well. I'm almost at 100? per cent now, let's wait and see what the decision of the coach is, when he wants to use me more."
The striker added: "We have a group of strikers who are very good and that's good for everyone. That means there is always a level of competition between us, healthy competition, and obviously I am very happy with how the team is doing."