Jose Mourinho claims Manchester United need to complete the signings of two midfielders if they have to improve the squad for the next season.
The Portuguese tactician signed Nemanja Matic from Chelsea before the start of the current campaign. That leaves him with the 29-year-old, along with Paul Pogba, Ander Herrera, Marouane Fellaini and Michael Carrick as the first choice midfielder in the squad.
Carrick has less than six months left on his contract and the former Tottenham Hotspur man is likely to hang up his boots next summer. Mourinho has already confirmed the midfielder has been offered a coaching role at Old Trafford.
The former Real Madrid and Chelsea manager stressed that brining in one midfielder next summer will only be to replace Carrick. Mourinho said United need to sign two players in that position if they have to bolster the squad.
"If, next summer, we are going to sign a midfield player, it's to replace Michael Carrick and Michael is a phenomenal player that, this season, he couldn't give us anything at all," Mourinho told United's official website.
"He's in the end of his career so if, next summer, we buy a midfield player, it's not to improve our squad - it's to replace Michael Carrick. So, to improve our squad in the midfield, we would need to buy two."
Carrick has made only one appearance in all competitions for United this term. The midfielder confirmed that he recently recovered from a heart condition and has not yet featured for the Red Devils since September.
Meanwhile, Fellaini's contract with the 20-time champions of England will run down next summer. The Belgium international has already revealed he rejected an opportunity to sign a new deal, while he admitted that his future at the club beyond this campaign remains uncertain.
"If Manchester United did not want me anymore, they would have said that a long time ago," Fellaini told HUMO.
"They made me an offer, and probably another one will follow. Whether I will accept it, I don't know. You can't arrange something like that in an instant. We [Fellaini and Mourinho] talked about it. The coach is someone who respects the decisions of his players."
With Carrick set to retire and Fellaini edging towards an Old Trafford exit, Mourinho is likely to bring in three midfielders to strengthen the squad in the next summer transfer window.