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Saturday 3 December 2016

Jose eyes new Carrick deal

Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick, in action against Arsenal
Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick, in action against Arsenal

Michael Carrick is set for one more season at Manchester United if Jose Mourinho gets his wish.

The midfielder signed a new one-year Old Trafford deal last June but having been used sparingly by Mourinho, the 35-year-old has admitted his days as a Red could be numbered saying "there is always a chance of that."

He celebrated a 10-year career at United at the start of the season but has said: "I'm not going to make predictions about what is going to be happening next season. I just want to play as many games as I can and see how I'm feeling, how the body is feeling. I'm not going to be making any rash judgements just yet."

But Mourinho wants the Geordie to stay on.

Pity

"Michael is 35-years-old. It is very sad to know that time flies for every one of us," said the United boss.

"He is such a fantastic player and it is a pity, I always loved him, but instead of being his manager when he was 25 I am his manager when he is 35.

"We have a good understanding. We know when he can play. We know when he is ready and when he needs a rest. So I am still having Michael Carrick and probably for one more season."

Mourinho believes Carrick is also having a positive influence on helping £89m world record buy Paul Pogba settle down.

"The midfield is playing well. Pogba, Carrick and Herrera are playing very well," added Mourinho as he prepares for Thursday's night's must-win Europa League clash with Feyenoord at Old Trafford.

"Pogba is adapting much better in relationships to the intensity of the competition and he is much more confident.

"Obviously he plays with some guidelines over his position but at the same time with some freedom to occupy some attacking areas where he thinks he can be important. He is comfortable on the pitch. That is the best way of saying it."

Meanwhile, Phil Jones insists there is "no need to panic" despite United's stuttering league form continuing thanks to a last-gasp Arsenal leveller that left the team feeling like they had been "slapped 6-0".

Much was expected of Mourinho's men having started the season with three successive wins, yet United have won just two of the subsequent nine Premier League matches.

The latest frustrating chapter came on Saturday lunchtime as Juan Mata deservedly put the hosts ahead, only for substitute Olivier Giroud to cancel it out in the 89th minute to earn Arsenal a fortuitous 1-1 draw.

It was the Gunners' only attempt on target and meant United were held to a third straight league draw on home turf for the first time since 1992.

"It feels like we have been slapped 6-0," defender Jones said. "We completely dominated the game from start to finish.

"I thought even when they had a spell of possession they never really created anything to test us.

"I thought we defended well, created chances and it was just one of those things.

"They got one chance and scored. We have to pick ourselves up, we are pleased with the performance but not with the result."

The draw, on the back of similarly dispiriting results at home to Stoke and Burnley, led Mourinho to claim his side are the unluckiest in the league - sentiments Jones concurred with.

"It is crazy," the 24-year-old said. "If we had won today, then we would have been three points behind Arsenal.

"Arsenal have had a world-class season and we are supposed to have had an average season. That is just the way the Premier League works.

"But we are pleased with the performance, I thought we created chances and probably should have scored more.

"There is no need to panic yet."

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