Manchester United captain Michael Carrick has announced his intention to retire at the end of the season and join Jose Mourinho’s coaching staff.
The 36-year-old is the longest-serving player at Old Trafford, having joined from Tottenham in 2006 and gone onto win the Champions League and five Premier League titles, among many other trophies.
Carrick, capped 34 times by England, has looked likely to leave United in recent summers only to pen extensions at a club that rewarded his fine service with a testimonial last year.
The 36-year-old was handed the captain’s armband last summer after the exit of Wayne Rooney but has only made three starts in all competitions this season.
It has long been expected that Carrick would hang up his boots at the end of the campaign – something the veteran confirmed on Monday, along with his intention to take up manager Mourinho’s offer to join the coaching staff.
“There comes a time when as much as you like it or don’t like it, your body tells you it’s time to stop playing football,” the 36-year-old said.
“So that’s pretty much where I’m at, which is fine. It’s something you’ve got to accept so that’s where I am at.
“It’s kind of been sorted out (for a coaching role). We’re still talking about it, to be honest, so there’s nothing to totally confirm as yet.
“But, yeah, it’s looking likely.”
Mourinho publicly confirmed the offer of a coaching role in November after Carrick revealed he had undergone a procedure to treat an irregular heart rhythm, having felt odd during September’s Carabao Cup win against Burton.
“Now it’s totally fine,” Carrick said in the press conference previewing Tuesday’s Champions League last-16 second leg against Sevilla.
“I’m clear and it took a little bit of time to get over but there were some times there where, for two or three days, I was thinking, ‘Am I going to carry on playing or not?’, ‘Is it worth it or not?’
“But that quickly passed, and I got back fit and I wanted to finish on my own terms, really, where at least I could decide and not be forced because of that.
“So, I was determined to get back fit.
“I understood I’d be getting back fit that I wouldn’t be playing as many games as probably I might have done, but that’s something that I understood.
“I’ve just been training hard and trying to keep fit and have managed to play a few games so far and we’ll see what happens towards the end of the season.”
Carrick has made three appearances in all competitions since returning from the heart complaint, but the skipper is still hoping to have a say in United’s fortunes before calling time on his playing career.
“Hopefully I can get some game-time at some point between now and the end of the season,” he said. “I still see myself as a player – for now anyway – and I am still enjoying training and being out with the boys.
“I’m probably trying to help a lot more now than I have in the past because I understand where I am at – a bit of a responsibility, obviously being as captain this season, as well but just the age I am at.
“With people like Scott (McTominay) and some of the younger boys, I’m just trying to help them adapt.
“In terms of being remembered, just someone who tried to do things the right way… Tried to work for the team, being known as a team player I think is important.
“I can look at it and think I’ve give it my best, I’ve tried all sorts of different things to bring the best out of me over the years and I can say that I gave my best, so I can look back with no regrets.”