Manchester United captain Roy Keane has announced that he will retire as a player when his current contract expires.

Keane’s contract expires in the summer of 2006, by which time he will be appraoching 35.

“I feel good – my hip feels good, my left knee was a bit sore but overall I am not too bad,” said Keane.

“I am enjoying my football, but when I signed my current contract I believed it would be last playing contract and I still believe that to be the case.”

The Republic of Ireland international has spoken in the past about finishing his career at Celtic, the club he supported as a boy. But his latest comments appear to rule out that option.

Keane was recently described by United boss Sir Alex Ferguson as the greatest player of his time at the club, and a player who would go down as one of the all-time greats in the club’s history.

During 12 years with the club, he won seven Premiership titles, four FA Cups, a League Cup as well as capturing the Champions League – even though he was suspended for the final.