The question of what to do with Michael Carrick has been among the most pertinent for Jose Mourinho in his short time as Manchester United boss.
The former England international is now in his 11th year at the club but will once again run down his contract in the summer.
The Sun report that he’s set to be rewarded for that service with a testimonial and the potential offer of a further one-year deal, but his future has looked worryingly uncertain at times this season.
Mourinho admits his vice-captain, who has featured 442 times for the club, now struggles to play two games in a week.
The 35-year-old did buck that trend last week with United facing massive fixture congestion as they vied with the league, the EFL Cup, and the Europa League.
Nonetheless, Carrick’s days as a regular are all but over, it would appear.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is the ultimate proof that age is just a number, but Carrick doesn’t play such an obvious role in Mourinho’s XI.
That is not to say the club should even consider letting the former Tottenham and West Ham man go, though.
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The midfielder’s experience in that position is invaluable. Not only does that make him perfect for the big games, he finds himself in a position on the pitch where that characteristic is needed most.
Paul Pogba has a long way to go before he possesses anything like Carrick’s maturity. The latter may lack pace, but Mourinho can’t afford to lose both him and Schweinsteiger, with the German unlikely to be brought in from the cold entirely.
This is a club that knows the problem of finding a worthy successor only too well. While the problem of ‘who follows Carrick’ is a pressing one, it isn’t one that needs to be solved just yet.