Jose Mourinho has revealed that he has offered club captain Michael Carrick a coaching role with Manchester United after the ex-England international announced he had received treatment for an irregular heart rhythm.
Carrick, 36, issued a statement on the eve of United’s 1-0 win over Brighton on Saturday that revealed he had undergone a procedure to correct the problem.
The midfielder suffered dizzy spells during a League Cup win over Burton in September and has only recently been cleared to resume training with Mourinho’s first team.
But the United manager confirmed he had offered Carrick the coaching role had the England international decided to retire following the diagnosis and that the job is waiting for him if he decides to retire at the end of his current contract in June.
“Michael as a person is more important than Michael as a player,” said the United manager. “We gave him the time to relax, to recover, to feel confident, to make the decision — wants to play, wants to stop.
“He knows that my coaching staff has a chair for him, if he wants, when he wants. The chair is in the office for him. I want that, the board want that, the owners want that.
“Michael is in a comfortable position — the future is with us. But he wants to play until the end of the season and now he feels confident to be back. He is one more option for us.”
Mourinho was left frustrated by United’s lacklustre display on Saturday which required a 66th-minute Ashley Young shot, and a cruel deflection via defender Lewis Dunk to bring United another three points.
In the week that Eric Cantona had suggested Mourinho is not an attacking enough manager for his former club, the Portuguese coach admitted he may have overdone his offensive approach by fielding Juan Mata, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial behind striker Romelu Lukaku.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the pundits said today we played with too many attackers,” said Mourinho. “But if they say that I would say they were right because sometimes you play with too many attacking players and you lose control of the game.
“We had a few problems defensively with the game because (Paul) Pogba and (Nemanja) Matic were a bit isolated in the centre of the park.
“If we compensate that with more creation that is good, that is a good risk but today our creation was poor.”
United’s lack of goals has become a problem in recent weeks, culminating in the midweek Champions League loss in Basel in which Mourinho’s side dominated in the first half without scoring.
“We played some of our best football away from home in the first half (at Basel) — it could have been 6-0 and it was 0-0,” said Mourinho.
Brighton performed admirably at Old Trafford and would have been worth at least a point had they not been unfortunate to concede the corner that led to the only goal.
Replays suggested referee Neil Swarbrick and his assistant were wrong in judging that Solomon March had made the decisive final touch before awarding the corner.
“When you see it again, it wasn’t a corner,” said manager Chris Hughton. “But we did have an opportunity to clear it after that.
“It was an unfortunate goal for us to give away. From where I was, it didn’t look a corner but I assumed because the official was that close, he got it right. I expect him to get it right in those circumstances.”