BBC Sport report that Michael Carrick is set to be given a one-year contract extension by Manchester United. The 35-year-old midfielder is coming to the end of his current contract and there had been rumours that he could be released at the end of the season, but contract talks have progressed well. There is confidence on both sides that a new deal can be agreed and it could be announced shortly. He is currently on 457 appearances for United in all competitions and offers a reliable option in central midfield.
This is positive news for supporters as they know they can depend on the former England international to carry out a specific role as he has done this season. He is a good partner for Paul Pogba, as he is disciplined and sits in front of the defence, which allows the Frenchman to venture forwards. If he does get a new contract, it is one fewer position for Jose Mourinho to strengthen in this summer and provides him with more funds for more pressing concerns. This will likely be the midfielder’s final contract at Old Trafford.
Manchester United have their penultimate Premier League match of the season against Southampton tonight and Paul Pogba remains on compassionate leave, which means he won’t feature at St Mary’s Stadium. He is currently back in France to attend his father’s funeral and isn’t in the right mental state to play for United. Jose Mourinho has been quoted in the Daily Mail when asked about the Frenchman:
“I don’t think (he will be available). I think that his dad’s funeral has to be between Tuesday and Wednesday in France.
“I don’t think that Paul has the conditions to play. We have left him completely free to be back when he thinks he’s ready.”
There are more important things than football at times and this is one of them. United supporters will be wishing Pogba well during this difficult time. It is unlikely that he would have played a part on Wednesday anyway as Mourinho is focusing on the Europa League final next week. He will be hoping to have his French midfielder available for that as United will have to be at their best to beat Ajax and lift the trophy. It has been a mixed first season for Pogba, but there is more to come from him and a starring role in a European final would provide him with momentum heading into the next campaign.
The transfer window is quickly approaching us and Mourinho will want to make several signings to turn his team into title contenders. The Daily Mail report that they are set to re-sign Michael Keane from Burnley in a £25 million deal this summer. There has been a lot of interest in the England international, but it is thought that United are clear favourites to complete a deal. Due to a sell-on fee that was in the deal to sell the centre-back, United will have to pay less to sign him than any of their rivals, which is a huge advantage.
Despite it being another player that the club are re-signing, this would be a good piece of business by United as he has clearly developed a lot since he left Old Trafford. He is now an England international and would qualify as a homegrown player, which is another advantage. United do need to strengthen their centre back options as they haven’t settled on a first-choice pair since Mourinho took over. Keane is a modern-day defender and would be a good fit for the current United team. If this move does happen, it will cast doubt over the future of Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo.
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