Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand could announce his international retirement today.

The Daily Mail says United manager Sir Alex Ferguson and Ferdinand spoke first thing on Friday and talked with United's medical staff later in the day to see if the complicated programme designed specifically for the player's back could be incorporated into his training schedule while he is away with England.

Worryingly for Ferdinand, he was told that playing and training with England while not under the specialist care of his usual doctors would run the risk of ending his season.

A decision is expected later on Saturday, in all likelihood after United have played their Barclays Premier League game against Reading on Saturday evening.