Karpin to call it a day
By Mark Kendall
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
The Russian, who turns 35 on Tuesday, all but confirmed the news on a radio programme, but is expected to officially announce the decision at a press conference.
"The most probable thing is that I will retire in June, when the current league season finishes," he told Onda Cero.
Karpin has enjoyed an excellent campaign for Sociedad this term which had led many to speculate that he would choose to prolong his career.
The industrious wide man has been one of the key figures in Real's recent revival, and has chipped in with four goals to complement his consistent form.
However, Karpin insists that the physical toll playing is now taking on his body has led him to call time on his playing days.
"From outside you are seeing me in one way but I know how I am inside, especially after games. I don't sleep and I feel shattered," he revealed.
"Before I used to play a game and on the Monday afternoon I was fine, nowadays I'm still waiting on the Wednesday to see if I have recovered."