Hargreaves is prepared to go against the conventional wisdom of extending his playing career as long as he can, with an alternative career in media or coaching also holding strong appeal.
"There are lots of different paths I can go down," he told the Daily Mail.
"All the ex-pros have said 'you are too young to retire' but there is a big chapter after football and it might be best to focus on chapter two than hang on to chapter one.
"This year I just took a step back and decided not to play. I am fit, so I understand I may never play again. I am fine with that. You don't get all you want.
"One thing I won't consider is going down the leagues. I have played Champions League every year of my career so I am not doing that."