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Michael Carrick signs new one-year Man Utd deal

SoccerBy Kevin Palmer
Carrick staying at United
Carrick staying at United

Manchester United have confirmed that midfielder Michael Carrick has signed a one-year contract extension with the club.

Carrick has suffered an injury disrupted season, but he has been influential when he has been fit and on top form playing as a make-shift centre-back or in his more accustomed midfield role.

"He is, for me, my second captain behind Wayne Rooney and he can also read the game as a team player so that’s very important," said Van Gaal.

"He has also an excellent pass forward. I like, as a manager, forward passers so that’s very important for me. He is important because he can read the game, as a player on the pitch.

"So he can coach during the game, but he can improve that I think. He is also a player who can play the ball forward and that I like, because our aim is always to pass the ball forward more than sideways."

Van Gaal went on to comment on Sunday's mouth-watering Premier League game against Liverpool at Anfield, where his side will have a chance to move five points clear of their old foes in the race for a top four finish and qualification for next season's Champions League.

"I want to win against them again," stated the United boss, after his guided his side to a 3-0 win against Liverpool back in December. 

"It's very important. I think every player knows the importance of this game. We are in a very crucial stage and cannot lose.

"We played very well in the first half (against Tottenham last weekend), but it says nothing when you lose the next match.

"Liverpool is not the ground that United has won a lot on."

Van Gaal also confirmed that Dutch striker Robin van Persie is stepping up his recovery from injury, as he closes in on a United first team return.