Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick could be heading to Newcastle United on a free transfer this summer.
According to Matt Hughes of the Times, the 34-year-old is yet to receive a new offer at Old Trafford, and his contract expires at the end of the season. Metro's Max Miller reported that could allow Newcastle to snap up the midfielder for nothing.
Despite his age, he could prove an excellent acquisition for the Magpies.
Former Magpies and Red Devils striker Andy Cole is an admirer of the England international's talents:
Andrew Cole @vancole9
If Carrick is fit... He needs to play! Top top player2/2/2016, 8:53:03 PM
Following United's recent 3-0 win over Stoke City, BBC Sport's Shamoon Hafez ran the rule over an outstanding performance from Carrick, while football writer Jasper Dunning noted his importance to the Old Trafford outfit:
Jasper Dunning @Jasper_Dunning
@ShamoonHafez @writtenoff_mufc no coincidence we play well when he's consistently fit and on the pitch. Missed badly during last six weeks.2/2/2016, 10:37:24 PM
Carrick could slot in well at St James' Park thanks to his impressive distribution and comfort in possession, while the likes of Jonjo Shelvey, Henri Saivet and Jack Colback would be able to compensate for his lack of mobility.
Being from Tyneside himself, Carrick may well pursue the move if he's not offered a new deal by United.
According to Oscar Mendez of Spanish outlet Fichajes (h/t Alex Harris of the Daily Star), the Red Devils could replace him with Sevilla's Ever Banega as the Argentinian is their "first-choice midfield target regardless of who is the club's manager" and like Carrick could be drafted in for free.
Banega is more of an attacking playmaker than Carrick but is an excellent player. Here are some his recent highlights:
The 27-year-old has scored six goals and assisted four in all competitions this season, and he recently garnered praise from football writer Andrew Gaffney:
Andrew Gaffney @GaffneyVLC
Ever Banega has been one of the best no.10s in Spain over the last 12-18 months and has garnered a lot of attention, specifically abroad.12/21/2015, 3:36:47 PM
An expert passer and dribbler, Banega also works hard to help out defensively and could add further dynamism to the Red Devils midfield.
On a free transfer he's definitely worth considering, though United may find they have stiff competition for his signature.
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