Manchester City academy product Micah Richards is close to retiring at just 30 years of age due to long-term knee problems, the Daily Mail reports.
Micah, who made his City debut in 2005 and was with the club until 2015, has not played a senior game for his current club Aston Villa since being forced off injured against Wolves on October 15, 2016.
Despite tailored fitness sessions, the 13-cap England international has not been able to play for Dean Smith’s team amid chronic knee problems.
The right-back has a persistent meniscus problem in his right knee which can swell when exercised, and he is expected to reluctantly retire from football when his deal at Villa Park expires in June.
There remains a possibility that Micah could seek out a pay-as-you-play deal to prolong his career, potentially abroad, but that looks difficult because of the condition of his knee.
Micah played almost 250 competitive games for City before joining Villa in 2015, winning the Premier League and FA Cup with the club.