Three days after completing his trophy collection with the UEFA Europa League, Michael Carrick has signed a one-year contract extension at Manchester United.
The 35-year-old will celebrate his Man United career with a testimonial on June 4th as a Man Utd 2008 XI face Michael Carrick's All Stars. With club captain Wayne Rooney expected to leave United, it's unsurprising that manager José Mourinho has opted to extend Carrick's contract to ensure he retains some of his senior players.
Carrick "delighted that [his] journey" with Man Utd will continue
Carrick and Rooney are, in fact, the only two remaining players from the 2008 Champions League and Premier League winning squad, and both have now won every club trophy in the game with United.
Mourinho told ManUtd.com that he has "thoroughly enjoyed working with Michael over this past season," because "he is one of the true professionals of the game."
The English midfielder has made his good relationship with Mourinho well-known, speaking previously of how enthusiastic his manager was about rewarding him with a testimonial. The Portugueuse boss continues to praise his vice-captain.
"Not only is he a great football," Mourinho said, "[but] he is also a fantastic human being and a great role model to our younger members of the team. I am delighted he has extended his contract and I would like to take this opportunity to wish Michael all the best for his well-deserved testimonial match next Sunday."
Mourinho also recently extended the contract of another of his more senior players, Antonio Valencia, enjoying a renaissance at right-back.
35-year-old Carrick extends to June 2018
Carrick has now won five Premier League titles, one Champions League, one Europa League, one Club World Cup, an FA Cup, two League Cups and six Community Shields. It's a stunning record for one of the most underappreciated English players of his generation who may now finish his United career aged 36 after 12 seasons at the club.
On Wednesday night's Europa League victory, Carrick described it as "a fantastic way to finish off the season, with a new trophy in our cabinet."
"I am delighted that my journey with this great club is going to continue. My focus now is looking ahead to my testimonial match next Sunday; it will be a very proud moment for me and my family, and is the perfect way to top what has already been a great season. I am thrilled that the fans will also get to see our shiny new Europa League trophy on the day.”
It's expected that much of Carrick's role next season will be assisting with coaching at the younger levels of United's academy, having already gained some experience of that in the past two seasons. His experience and wisdom from more than a decade at United, through success and failure, will be vital. Zlatan Ibrahimović is unlikely to play for the Reds again, or at least not in the first half of the season, after knee ligament damage, and so Carrick's role will be particularly important.