Manchester United are ready to open talks with Michael Carrick over a new one-year deal, reports The Mail.
The midfielder has recovered from a long-term ankle injury, returning to the squad in November. His recovery coincided with a significant upturn in form for the Red Devils with many citing Carrick's presence as key to that success.
His season took another turn for the worse on January 30 when he was ruled out for around four weeks with a muscle rupture in his calf. However, that has not stopped Louis van Gaal from wanting to secure Carrick's future.
A high-earning legend
Carrick, 33, is into the last six months of his contract at Old Trafford which sees him earn an impressive £130,000-a-week. He is keen to extend his stay at Manchester United, but only now has it been reported that Van Gaal wants to keep him.
Ryan Giggs, assistant to Van Gaal, is also a keen advocate of the deep-lying midfielder and believes Van Gaal is making the right decision in keeping him. A deal is in the offing with no trouble expected between the two parties.
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While Carrick is a key member of this Manchester United squad, there had been some questions raised over his future. The emergence of Daley Blind coupled with rumours of a summer bid for Kevin Strootman left many wondering where Carrick fits in Van Gaal's plans.
This latest injury problem only threw it into further doubt, but it seems Carrick's performances this season, which have seen him impress in both midfield and in central defence, have earned him 12 more months at Old Trafford.
The perfect role
Anyway, Carrick is likely to benefit from a reduced role in the first team squad, as he continues to struggle with injury. His experience on the training ground will be of great importance for young stars coming through while his professionalism has earned him plaudits throughout a glorious career.
Carrick is now an important part of Manchester United history let alone this current squad and is is important that Van Gaal showed respect for someone who has been a great servant to the club.
With an impeccable understanding of the English game and a passing range that continues to improve, a fit Carrick has regularly provided the missing link between defence and attack for the Red Devils this season. Even if he only plays 15 games next season, you can be confident Carrick will be worth 12 more months.
Is offering Michael Carrick a new deal the right decision for Manchester United? Or would you like to see the old boy replaced by an international super star like Kevin Strootman? Give us your views in the comments box below!