Michael Carrick not thinking about future as Man Utd contract expires

Michael Carrick of Manchester United in action during the Premier League match against Sunderland
Image: Michael Carrick's contract runs out at the end of the season

Michael Carrick is enjoying his football rather than worrying whether he will still be a Manchester United player next season.

The midfielder is in his 10th campaign at Old Trafford, during which time he has collected five Premier League winners' medals and won the Champions League.

Carrick's time in the North West could soon be up, though, as the midfielder's contract expires in the summer.

Arsenal, Newcastle and even the Chinese Super League have been mentioned as possible destinations, but the 34-year-old is only concerned about enjoying himself with United and England.

"I don't know, to be honest," stand-in captain Carrick said when asked about his future. "I don't expect to play every game - this week the run of games we've had to play would be a big ask for me.

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"I've probably played 25, 26, 27 games or something so far, so it's not bad.

"I want to play every game because you're used to playing most games, but it's just how it is.

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"I'm just enjoying playing at the moment. How long is it going to last? When you get to this stage, you don't know, so I am just trying to enjoy it for what it is and see where that takes me."

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That short-term focus means Carrick is only looking at Sunday's clash against one of the clubs reportedly interested in his services.

Injury-hit United are hoping to have players back for Arsenal's visit, ahead of which one of the largest questions is about Anthony Martial's availability.

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A hamstring complaint saw the Frenchman withdraw from the United starting line-up just minutes before Thursday's do-or-die Europa League clash with FC Midtjylland.

It resulted in Marcus Rashford being thrown in for a high-pressure debut - an occasion the 18-year-old dealt with manfully, scoring two crucial goals in a 5-1 win.

"He's trained with us quite a lot this season," Carrick said of the teenager. "I've seen plenty of him.

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"He's lively, he's pacey, he's enthusiastic. To get two goals is the stuff of dreams, to see his reaction and what it means to him. That's what it's all about, getting the young lads through.

"We'll have to see who's fit and available for the weekend. I'm sure after that performance he's going to have bags of confidence. You don't know until you're thrown in there but that's the beauty this season.

Marcus Rashford scored two goals on his Manchester United debut against FC Midtjylland
Image: Marcus Rashford impressed on his senior debut but Carrick knew what to expect

"We've played a lot of lads who maybe wouldn't have been close to getting a chance, but they've got the chance and a lot of them have taken it.

"I think Cameron [Borthwick-Jackson] is a prime example of that. If you ask him, he probably wasn't hoping to be around the first team this season, but he gets his chance and he's looked comfortable and at home.

Cameron Borthwick-Jackson made his first start for Manchester United at a time when Ray Wilkins thinks experience is needed
Image: Cameron Borthwick-Jackson has also done well for United this season

"Sometimes you don't know what you've got until you throw them in and you don't want to be throwing them in all at once, but I suppose you see who can deal with it and who can't and most of them have."

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