Michael Carrick has revealed that he will only sign a one year extension at Manchester United if he continues to contribute on a regular basis.
The Englishman, who has made 22 appearances so far this season, signed a one year extension on his existing contract over the summer.
It was revealed earlier this week that Carrick would receive a testimonial following 11 years at the club, but it remains unclear as to whether the 35-year-old will remain at Old Trafford ahead of the 2017/18 campaign.
And Carrick, speaking at a press conference, noted that he would feature under Mourinho until his legs called time on what has been an excellent career.
“That’s the pride element of knowing how good you are at your peak and as that steady decline comes it’s not letting it go too far. I don’t want to be hanging around too long just for the sake of it.
“I’d want to be going out when I still feel I’m contributing enough. It’s about getting the timing right. I feel really good to be honest. You’ve just got to judge how you go. It can change quite quickly. I feel fine.
“It’s a good place to be at the minute, real positivity around the place and hopefully things this season that we can achieve, and that keeps me going.
“I understand I am not going to play every game. I haven’t really got a problem with that. I need to be playing enough. I don’t want to be here just for the sake of ‘you’ve been here so long, let’s keep you on board’. I wouldn’t want to do that.”
Deciding whether to remain at a club – or any enterprise, really – for another year is not a decision that should be taken lightly. Carrick will know that his closing moments at Old Trafford will strongly define the nature of his legacy, alongside having an impact on the way in which he, looking back over the next few years, will feel about how his career came to a close.
But fact of the matter is that the twilight era of Carrick’s Man United career will be, above anything, dictated by raw gut feeling. The 35-year-old – much like Zlatan Ibrahimovic – will know, over the summer, whether he has enough left in the tank for another nine months at the top, and supporters will desperately hope he does.