Paul Hartley has confirmed Rory Loy will be free to leave Dundee in January - but hinted the striker could still have a future at Dens Park.
Loy has cut a frustrated figure this season, with the form of Craig Wighton and Marcus Haber currently keeping him out of the team.
The 28-year-old has managed just six starts and will now be allowed to head out on loan once the January transfer window opens after a heart-to-heart with his boss.
Hartley admits the former Rangers, Carlisle and Falkirk frontman has fallen down his pecking order.
But he believes the chance of regular action elsewhere could allow Loy to resurrect his Dark Blues career later.
Speaking ahead of Friday night's clash with Hearts, the Dee manager said: "Rory came to me last week to ask to go on loan and we have granted that because he needs to play minutes.
"He wants to play so it will be a loan move but he needs someone to come in and look at him first.
"With the age he's at, he wants to play first-team football. With Haber and Wighton playing right now, he sees his chances here being limited.
"I feel he needs to go get some game time. It's been a frustrating season for him. Last year was the same with the form of Kane Hemmings and Greg Stewart. He had an injury and found it difficult.
"Strikers always want a run of games to try to score, so it's important for his self-confidence he gets some time on the pitch and builds that up. For both parties we feel it's the best thing to do.
"Sometimes it is too easy to sit on the bench and not play. But Rory wants to sample first-team football."