Steven Pressley is eager to return to working in football but insists he has to be "more strategic" with his next move.
Scot Pressley, 43, has turned down offers to manage in Scotland since leaving Fleetwood Town last year.
He previously managed Falkirk and Coventry City.
"I have a real, real burning desire to manage at the very top," the former Hearts defender told BBC Radio Scotland's Sportsound.
"It's not an arrogance. If you look at my career as a manager and you want to actually look at it, scratch beneath the surface and look at the aspects that I've had to deal with, I think I've dealt with them exceptionally well.
"I've travelled to Spain, I've travelled in England to watch the top coaches work and I know that I can coach at the very top level because of that. I've watched them in action.
"But there's a certain pathway to get there and you have to sometimes take certain steps to achieve your goal and I understand that some people can call it an arrogance - it's not an arrogance.
"I am hugely respectful and I am hugely appreciative of the offers that I've received.
"I wouldn't have knocked them back because I think I'm above that. That's nothing to do with it. It's how I get to where I want to be, that's the only reason."
Pressley also played as a defender for Rangers, Coventry, Dundee United, Celtic, Randers and Falkirk and earned 32 Scotland caps.
He was promoted from assistant to manager at the Bairns in 2010 and, although Falkirk were relegated from the top flight soon after his appointment, he stayed with the club until taking over at Coventry in 2013, winning the Challenge Cup in 2012.
'I'm looking at all different opportunities'
During his time at the Sky Blues, Coventry entered administration, but he kept them in League One at the end of his first season in charge.
"When I arrived, the budget was £4.6m and, within a year, I had to reduce it to £2.2m," he explained.
"I had to deal with two 10-point deductions, I had to deal with transfer embargoes, I had to deal with playing out of Northampton - incredible circumstances that we had to deal with and I was really, really proud of the job we actually did there."
With Coventry having fallen into the relegation zone during the second half of season 2014-15, Pressley was sacked before having a nine-month spell in charge of Fleetwood, who also stayed in League One during his tenure.
"I want to take a club where I feel that we share the same values, where we share the same goals, where I believe I can go in and make an impact that allows me then to eventually go to the next step," Pressley added.
"That step might be for me not being a manager. That step might be to coach at the right club at a higher level where eventually they have a succession plan or that allows me to move with that coach to another club.
"Might be going abroad to manage or to coach. I'm looking at all different opportunities and I think I'll know when it's the right opportunity.
"I need to be, which I haven't been thus far, more strategic in my steps to get there."
Steven Pressley's interview can be heard of Sportsound on BBC Radio Scotland at 18:30 BST.