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Michael Carrick says Paul Pogba has a big future at Manchester United, closing down the speculation

Manchester United coach Michael Carrick has insisted that Paul Pogba has a future at the Old Trafford club. The French international who has met up with his France teammates today for their first training session ahead of the FIFA World Cup in Russia this summer made his move back to the Theatre of Dreams nearly two years ago for £89 million, then a world record. Since the move, Pogba has been criticised for not finding his best for by supporters, pundits, former players and Jose Mourinho.

There have been many stories suggesting that Mourinho and Pogba had a bust-up with the tabloid newspapers seemingly knowing everything about it, running many different ‘exclusive’ stories about the said bust-up. Mourinho and Pogba have both played down the speculation, which seems to keep coming back like a boomerang. This season saw an improvement from Pogba, at times, but injury, suspension and a loss of form had seen him dropped from some matches.

Carrick retired at the end of the season and will take his place in a new look team of backroom staff at the start of next season. The veteran United player has spoken about the future of the Frenchman, who appeared on television in France earlier in the week where he was asked if he will remain at United this summer. His answer stated ‘contractually, yes’ or words to that effect, which, you guessed it, has seen the speculation surrounding his future at the club return. Speaking to Sky Sports, Carrick said:

“Of course he’s got a future, he’s a big player for us, he’s a great age, he’s got his peak years ahead of him. It’s not even something I’d give a second thought to, to be honest.”

United finished in second place to Manchester City in the Premier League this season, 19 points adrift of the record-breaking side led by Pep Guardiola. After Mourinho’s first season at the club. in which they clinched the FA Community Shield, the EFL Cup and also won the UEFA Europa League, United only had the chance of winning the Emirates FA Cup at the weekend, in which they were beaten by Chelsea, all to an Eden Hazard penalty, given away by Phil Jones.

Despite the lack of silverware, the season was not in vain as United have improved based on the previous season. They had beaten the top six teams this season, not all the time, but more than last season, also scoring more goals, won more matches and generally seemed to be better at getting results, apart from the three defeats against the teams which were promoted from the Championship the season before. Carrick, speaking about how a trophyless season was not ideal, said:

“Like the manager said before the game, the manager isn’t going to judge the team on one game. We’ll learn, we’ve managed to pick up trophies in the last few years, and obviously not winning one is not ideal for us.

“But we’re looking ahead now, whether we’d won it or not you don’t look back, we’ve got to look to next season and it has to be a big one for us. We’re not looking at City, Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham, anyone. We’re looking at ourselves to improve, we believe we’re capable of improving a lot and we’ll see where that takes us.”

Carrick spent 12 years at United and won everything he could. His new career will be as a coach at the club, under Mourinho, with more changes coming, not that any have been confirmed by the club yet. Carrick is a well-respected member of the team and the players respect him as much as the manager, his colleagues, and the supporters. United will have a big summer ahead of them, where the problems amongst the players will need to be resolved and positions within the team strengthened. Carrick, concluding, said:

“It’s a big challenge, the same routine in many ways but a different role.

“I’m looking forward to it, I’m really excited, I’m well aware that just because you’re a half-decent player it doesn’t mean you’re going to be the same as a coach.

“I’ve got to put in the work, have to learn, start from scratch, and I’ve got the best man to learn from in Jose. I’m really looking forward to it.”

United are said to be after a right-back, a left-back, a central defender, at least one central midfielder (to replace Carrick, another if Marouane Fellaini leaves on the expiry of his contract), and a winger, preferably on the right, which is where United have fallen short, having to shoe-in players who just do not adapt to the role. Mourinho has a big job on his hands, and he will know that. Carrick moving into a coaching role will be a big part of that, especially when the style of play needs to be changed. Keeping Paul Pogba is a must, he needs to kick on at United and impress.

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