Jose Mourinho has revealed that Michael Carrick will retire at the end of the season and make a switch to coaching when his £80,000-a-week contract with the club comes to an end in the summer.
Carrick has been training with the team in recent weeks, but it remains to be seen if he will play again before the end of the campaign as Mourinho is well stocked with options in midfield. The 36-year-old made 38 appearances in all competitions last season following which he was handed a one-year contract extension, but his struggles this campaign is likely to see him hang up his boots in the summer.
The coaching offer has been on the table for a while now and Mourinho believes it is a good decision for Carrick to stop playing football on his own terms rather than be forced to make a decision owing to injury or a health issue. The Portuguese coach expects the English midfielder to join his coaching team at the end of the campaign, but admitted that the final decision remains with Carrick.
"When he wants [it], yes," Mourinho said when asked if Carrick would take up the opportunity to join the coaching staff at the end of the season, as quoted by Sky Sports.
"[He's had] a few months without even training so now he is in his second week of training with the team," Mourinho added.
"[He's a] very important player for us. I think the decision — to be [made] at the end of the season and not last week — is a good decision for the team and a good decision for him to finish playing football and not injured or with some problem."
"So we are all happy and in the end of the season I expect him to join, unless he changes his mind, but the club would be very happy for him to do that. I would be very happy also for him to do that," the Portuguese coach explained.
It will be the end of an era when Carrick hangs up his boots after a 12-year spell with the Red Devils. The Englishman has amassed 18 trophies since arriving at Old Trafford from Tottenham Hotspur in 2006 which includes five Premier League titles, one Champions League medal and most recently the Europa League.