Tottenham midfielder Jamie O'Hara insists he has not held talks with West Ham over a loan move but admits he may have to leave White Hart Lane in order to gain first-team football.
O'Hara has not featured for Spurs this season due to a back injury which he picked up during last year's season-long loan at Portsmouth, where he played under current Hammers boss Avram Grant.
The 24-year-old, who returned to light training this week, faces a tough fight on his hands to earn a place in the centre of midfield given that Harry Redknapp already has the likes of Tom Huddlestone, Jermaine Jenas, Niko Kranjcar, Wilson Palacios, Luka Modric and Sandro at his disposal.
O'Hara has targeted Spurs' FA Cup match with Charlton next month for his comeback but he admits he may have to join another club permanently if he cannot secure first-team football at White Hart Lane.
"I've never wanted to leave Tottenham but there comes a point in your career if you're not playing games you've got to look at yourself and think well this is my career. I want to be playing football, I'm not one of these people that want to sit in the bench and play one in four." O'Hara told Talksport.
"I want to go to a club where I can put some roots down and hopefully become a fan favourite and stay at a club for a few years. I don't want to be coming into clubs playing for three months, coming back.
"If I do go and things don't work out here at Tottenham then I'm going to be looking for somewhere where I'm going to stay for four or five years. That's something I want to do now, I don't want to be moving around all the time."
The midfielder enjoyed playing under Grant at Fratton Park but denies he has already been in contact with the league's bottom club about a move.
O'Hara continued: "I've heard all these rumours going around about West Ham but to be honest I haven't had any conversations with them at all so I don't know where it's coming from.
"I always had a great relationship with Avram. I see him as a philosopher of football, he wasn't the sort of guy who gets up off the bench screaming and shouting - he's not that type of person.
"He took a calmer approach to it, kind of like Arsene Wenger in a way. It just hasn't worked out for him [at West Ham]. Hopefully he'll stay in the job."