Former Reading midfielder Danny Drinkwater admitted he was left 'scratching his head' after receiving so few offers before retiring this week.

The 33-year-old won the Championship and Premier League with Leicester City, and an FA Cup with Chelsea, in a controversial career.

The England international played 34 times on loan for Reading in 2021/22, his final club before spending a year without a club.

Enduring off-field issues throughout his five years at Chelsea following a £35m move, the former Manchester United youngster was left surprised at the lack of clubs interested in picking him up after leaving Berkshire.

"I spent the last year playing football on loan at Reading," he told Jake Humphrey on the High-Performance Podcast. "I found that I was unfit and the first six months really hard. At the end of the season, Paul Ince came in and having his old-school methods really helped me. I found my feet again towards the end but going into the season after that having not been snapped up…something doesn’t feel right here. I either pushed on, fitness-wise by myself, or I just shook hands with the sport.

"I must’ve been scratching my head for weeks. I remember speaking to someone else in football and I was like ‘I just don’t get it- how has nobody come and taken a chance to get me really fit?’ They know what I’m capable of when I get fit, I just need to get fit. The game has changed. For someone not to pull me in and tell me they were going to get me like a machine again, stick with us, I’d have been all over it.

"Without sounding a bit silly, I’m not going to be the cheapest player. I do think now, as a business project, clubs look at younger players they can make a bit of money off. I don’t think clubs look at experience like they once did- especially if they’ve had a bit of trouble off the pitch. I did have options, but I didn’t have options that I wanted."

He had spent time training in Dubai with former Royals teammate Liam Moore.

The former club captain, who left over the summer, is yet to find a new club.