Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick is expected to retire in the summer. The 36-year-old’s contract at Old Trafford expires in the summer and the former-England international has struggled for game time this season because of heart problems.
With Marouane Fellaini also in the final five months of his contract at the club, we have subsequently been linked to a number of replacements in cental midfield.
Real Madrid’s Mateo Kovacic, Borussia Dortmund’s Julian Weigl, Lazio’s Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Nice’s Jean Seri have all been strongly linked as potential replacements.
Jose Mourinho has now confirmed that Carrick is in the final few months of his time at Manchester United. The boss is quoted by Manchester Evening News as saying:
“We need to sign a midfield player because we are going to lose Michael Carrick.
“Of course, we need balance in the team. I told you that one or two months ago when we were speaking about the market. When some of you keep saying that we are going to buy that striker, that winger, that left winger, that right winger, I told you two months ago.”
The Portuguese coach also hit back at the media for not believing his comments in December, saying:
“When I told you a couple of months ago that we don’t want to sign any striker or any winger and, yes, we are looking and we are going to try to sign a midfield player, I told you that two months ago.”
Following the signing of Alexis Sanchez from Premier League rivals Arsenal last month we have switched to a 4-3-3 on a couple of occasions, including the weekend’s 2-0 win at Huddersfield Town in the FA Cup.
As well as Carrick and Fellaini, we currently have Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic, Ander Herrera and Scott McTominay that can play the central midfield role, but should we lose the two aforementioned players then we’d need to sign 1-2 players over the summer to place them should Mourinho wish to switch to this formation on a more regular basis next season.