Spanish champions Barcelona are looking for a replacement for ageing club captain Carles Puyol, according to the Sport newspaper on Tuesday.
Sport claimed that Puyol — who will be 36 in April — has decided to hang up his boots at the end of this season after being plagued by different injuries for the past four years.
Puyol has made only 11 appearances in all competitions this season for Barca, and has looked shaky and unsure of himself on the field.
On many occasions coach Gerardo Martino has left him in the stands rather than including him in the match squad.
Puyol has made 391 appearances for Barca since 1999 and has been club captain since 2004, guiding the Catalans to three Champions League trophies and six Spanish Ligas.
He is one of the most popular players in Barca history, because of his reliability, determination, fighting spirit and never-say-die attitude.
Puyol has been capped 100 times by Spain and played a vital role in the 2010 World Cup triumph. But he is unlikely to be chosen for the 2014 World Cup given his inconsistent recent form.
According to Sport, Barca are considering several defenders as a replacement for Puyol including Aleksandar Dragovic of Dynamo Kiev and Mateo Musacchio of Villarreal.
Barca must also replace Victor Valdes this summer because the veteran goalkeeper has said he will not renew his contract.