Michael Carrick nears new two-year deal, is out for four-to-six weeks

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Michael Carrick may seem like the same player he was when he moved to Manchester United seven years ago, but along the way the England international’s turned 32 years old. It’s a dicey age for soccer players, part of the reason the Red Devils are loath to hand multi-year contract extensions to players in their thirties. Yet with their best midfielder asking for a two-year pact, David Moyes seems ready to relent.

According to reporting from the The Guardian, Carrick will get his multi-year offer from United, a deal which would run until just short of his 35th birthday. With a track record of durability (at least 41 appearances in each of the last seven seasons) and little sign of diminishing skills, Carrick seems as good a candidate as any, if United’s going to bend their policies. Add in the club’s lack of a clear replacement, and retaining Carrick becomes a priority.

But given the potential deal, it’s slightly ironic that Carrick’s also in today’s news because of injury. After his lingering Achilles problem was aggravated this weekend against Arsenal, the midfielder is set to miss the next four-to-six weeks. That layoff will sideline him for England’s upcoming friendlies against Chile and Germany, Champions League games against Bayer Leverkusen and Shakhtar Donetsk, as well as league matches against Tottenham, Everton, and Newcastle.

The England games don’t matter. The league games will be tough, but at least there’s no Arsenal, Chelsea, or Manchester City in the group. The real danger, however, is in Champions League, where a one-point lead in Group A could provide too thin if Moyes can’t cover for his most important midfielder. While it’s unlikely United would fall all the way to third and Europa League, an upset loss in Germany could consign them to second place, the position that left them drawn against Real Madrid in last year’s Round of 16.