Defender Mats Hummels admits he would understand if Borussia Dortmund opted not to offer him a new deal when his contract expires next season.
A mainstay in the heart of defence across two spells with BVB, Hummels has 12 months remaining on his existing deal with the Bundesliga giants.
Although, a persistent knee injury restricted the 33-year-old to just 23 league appearances last season – his lowest tally for Dortmund during a single campaign in the German top-flight since 2013-14 (also 23).
Since an initial loan move from Bayern Munich in 2008, Hummels has played 430 times for the Black and Yellows across all competitions, scoring 33 goals.
And while speculation over his future continues, the centre-half offered an insights into his discussions with sporting director Sebastian Kehl.
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“I’ve told Sebastian that if I put myself in BVB’s place, I would not extend with me right now,” he told German news outlet Ruhr Nachrichten.
“I think both sides are right to be relaxed about it.”
Asked if he was contemplating retirement, Hummels added: “Of course. But I will decide that spontaneously.
“Unfortunately, last year was not good at all in terms of health.
“Among other things, the knee story has already shown me that there are only a few years in the bones.”
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Though he missed almost a third of the Bundesliga season, his absence was certainly felt by Dortmund last term.
Indeed, BVB collected an average of 2.1 points per game with Hummels in the side, compared to just 1.9 without him.
Meanwhile, the Black and Yellows conceded an average of just 1.3 goals per game when he played, and 2.0 when he did not.