Michael Carrick put an end to retirement talks by extending his Manchester United stay by another 12 months, but speculation never ceases to end when it comes to a player of his stature. Carrick has responded to rumours about retirement at the end of the campaign by saying that his decision would be taken only next summer.
The 35-year-old will find no shortage of opportunities abroad, with MLS clubs likely to be keen on the player. Yet, Carrick does not seem to be the kind interested in making the most of creaking bones, and he is expected to retire once he leaves United.
Our vice-captain has made just shy of 500 Premier League appearances, and his presence in the squad offers a wealth experience to the younger names like Marcus Rashford. Carrick has benefited from playing alongside the likes of Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs, and he would be best placed to pass on the experience from the class of ‘96. Speaking to Sky Sports, Carrick said:
“I haven’t got an age in mind really, I need to just take it year by year.I said that last year, I said it the year before and I’ll say it again next year too.
“It might take me as long as Giggsy, but I’m not too sure.”
There were critical opinions when Carrick was signed for £18 million from Tottenham in 2005. Many felt that United had paid over the odds for a midfielder, but Sir Alex Ferguson quickly transformed him into the mould of Paul Scholes. Even Fergie would not have envisaged the success achieved by Carrick in the last decade. The 35-year-old has gone on to win every major honour with the Red Devils – including one Champions League and five Premier League medals.
If Carrick decides to retire at the end of the 2017-18 season, he will want to do so on a high. Even though last season saw us claim three major trophies, the objective for the upcoming campaign should be to progress into the latter stages of the Champions League and to make a return to the Premier League top four.
Irrespective of Carrick’s decision, Manchester United have already been on the lookout for a replacement. There have been widespread reports that either Monaco midfielder Fabinho or Chelsea midfielder Nemanja Matic may come to United in the next week. Even though United have dismissed suggestions that the club has agreed personal terms with the latter, he is understood to remain on the wish list of Jose Mourinho.