At 32, Carrick is no spring chicken; he is however, instrumental to Manchester United’s midfield. 

After almost a decade in the shadows, Carrick is now receiving the plaudits he deserves; he was included in the PFA Team of the Year last season as well as beating a rampant Robin van Persie to Player’s Player at United’s end of season awards.

He pulls many of the strings and his passing range allows him to open games up when he receives the ball, which until the arrival of Marouane Fellaini, didn’t seem to happen often enough.

It’s early days for the Carrick-Fellaini midfield combination, but the early signs, for instance against Bayer Leverkusen on Tuesday, are very positive.

So it goes without saying that United want to keep hold of Carrick in what is already a sparsely populated midfield for the champions. Carrick is under contract until the end of next season, by which point he will be 33.

Being one of United’s most consistent performers in recent years, the club would hate to see him walk away, but the club’s policy is to offer senior players of Carrick’s age contract extensions of just one year.

Carrick’s mature performances at the heart of the United indicate that he wants to stay with the club for the rest of his career; as do his mannerisms both on and off the pitch.

Carrick has been used to playing the role of unsung hero during his time at United, but as he has lately – and rightly- begun to gain recognition for his achievements, now he has earned the right to be offered a longer contact.

In Fellaini, United may well have found the midfielder they have been searching for, it would be an awful shame to let Carrick leave for free just as they look to have solved their ever-present midfield problems.

Ed Woodward and the United board need to move quickly and use discretion with regards to their ‘rules’ and keep Carrick at Old Trafford for the rest of his career.     

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