Michael Carrick
Van Gaal will now use the summer to find a replacement for Carrick Getty Images

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal is considering life after Michael Carrick after the England international was ruled out for the remainder of the season with a calf injury.

Carrick has endured an injury-ravaged campaign, making just 18 Premier League appearances this season and not since the 4-2 win over Manchester City in April.

Despite being hopeful that Carrick, who turns 34 in July, could play in United's final three games as they seek to secure Champions League football for next season, Van Gaal will be without the ex-Tottenham midfielder.

"Carrick is not available, it was more heavy than we thought," Van Gaal told MUTV. "We tried everything but now we have to think about next season. He shall not play anymore this season, it's better now to focus for him on next season and being fit to start.

"When you see the stats, it's clear that he's very important but that's also because we have only right-sided holding midfielder.

"That's what I am saying already in the whole of the season, that our selection is not balanced, and I want to restore that in the next transfer period. The life is not ending at 34, but for a professional football player, it's close by. That's why I have to handle again in that position.

"Evans and Shaw can play football or the game. Evans doesn't have the match rhythm because he was injured for six weeks and after that he was suspended for six weeks, and after that he was injured. He needs match rhythm."

Ahead of the trip to Crystal Palace, United have confirmed their first signing of the summer in the form of Netherlands international Memphis Depay, who will move to Old Trafford subject to a medical in June.

Depay was linked strongly with moves to Liverpool and Paris Saint-Germain before agreeing to move to United and Van Gaal said he was forced to secure a deal for the 21-year-old to prevent rivals clubs hijacking the deal.

"Depay is a goal-scoring winger, and there aren't so many of them in the world," he added. "Messi is one of those but now I think we have to talk about and focus on the game against Palace, and the coming three games.

"That's more important. I was forced to handle [the situation] as a manager because otherwise he was going to PSG, that's why I had to sign him and we've done it within one day."