Mike Phelan is still being paid by Manchester United despite the football coach not working for the club since last season.
This new revelation comes as Phelan is seen as a legitimate target for Michael Carrick who is close to taking over as Middlesbrough’s boss.
Carrick is interested in bringing Phelan on board as his assistant. Phelan coached him for seven years as a player before the pair worked together in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer‘s backroom staff.
According to The Athletic, United will not stand in Carrick and Middlesbrough’s way should they opt to make good on their interest.
“There has been a period of a restrictive covenant on Phelan taking a new job in football but he has not performed work for United since the end of last season when he supported interim manager Ralf Rangnick.”
“However, Phelan has still been paid his wage on a contract signed in October 2021 because a final severance or a new role have yet to be agreed.”
“Talks were held over an ambassadorial position for Phelan, who won 15 major trophies across 21 years as player and coach at the club, given his long association with United and that option is still there.”
Since he scaled back on his roles at Old Trafford, Phelan has been busy with punditry, speaking engagements and coaching through his company.
A solution for the Red Devils could come in the form of finding an agreement with Phelan on the remaining period of salary. His contract expires in 2024.
Typically, as with players, this exercise would involve United paying a lump sum to Phelan in exchange for a lower overall financial contribution, but with coaches, a monthly payment could be made until another opportunity elsewhere is secured.
Beyond Phelan, Carrick is also interested in the services of Rene Meulensteen.
Meulensteen is however focusing on the World Cup with Australia, where he is currently serving as head coach Graham Arnold’s assistant manager.