Jose Mourinho has revealed that Manchester Unitedneed to sign a midfielder in order to compensate for the loss of Michael Carrick in the summer but are well organised in other parts of the field.
Carrick returned to the United eleven in their 4-0 win over Yeovil Town in the fourth round of the FA Cup and produced his customary cool performance in the heart of the midfield. It was only his second appearance of the season, having played 45 minutes during the Carabao Cup victory over Burton Albion in September.
He complained of "feeling strange" in the second half of that fixture and revealed two months later that he had undergone a cardiac ablation procedure to treat an irregular heart rhythm. The long-serving midfielder, who is expected to retire at the end of the season and take up a role on Mourinho's coaching staff, is now back in contention for the first team should Mourinho choose to deploy him.
United have already completed the signing of Alexis Sanchez this January while letting go of Henrikh Mkhitaryan in a swap deal with Arsenal. With Anthony Martial, Romelu Lukaku, Sanchez, Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford to contend with up front, the only place they are light is in midfield which Mourinho hopes to solve in the summer with a replacement for Carrick.
"I think in attack it's difficult for us to improve. Where are we going to get a better combination of players than we have? "We cannot buy [Lionel] Messi and Cristiano [Ronaldo] -- these are the best players of the last decade," Mourinho said, as quoted by ESPN.
"Where can we get better players than [Juan] Mata, [Anthony] Martial, [Jesse] Lingard, [Marcus] Rashford, Alexis [Sanchez], [Romelu] Lukaku? In attack we have an amazing group of players.
"In midfield, Michael Carrick will not be No. 16 next season, so we lose a player. It's there in midfield where we need to -- I'm not saying improve -- but we need to get a player to compensate the situation of Michael."
Meanwhile, United are also trying to tie down Marouane Fellaini to a new contract, with the player having entered his final six months of his current deal. Mourinho has already expressed his desire to keep the player at United and also made it clear to Fellaini as to how highly he rates him. However, should he refuse to sign, they will have two gaps to fill in the summer.
"If Marouane leaves, yes we have two gaps there, so let's see what happens. The good thing is that he would like to stay with us and we would like him to stay with us. To sign a contract a person must be happy. Let's see if we can make him happy," Mourinho added.