Michael Johnson, once tipped as an England international and one of the best young players to emerge through Manchester City's academy in the past decade, has been paid off from his contract, reports The Guardian. Johnson, convicted of two drink-driving offences last September, was offered a severance package from his £40,000-a-week contract just before Christmas, after several years of decline.

The club decided not to announce it publicly but it has come to light now after a photograph of the 24-year-old appeared on the internet looking bloated and unfit.

His last appearance for the club was as a second-half substitute in a Carling Cup tie against Scunthorpe in October 2009.

Johnson was moved to Leicester City two years ago, on a season-long loan that cost the Championship club £1m, but was signed off, then sent back, at the midway point.

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