Let's just skip the diametrically opposed opinions of Carrick. Whether you think he's great or terrible, it remains that Manchester United don't have a midfielder currently better able to play his position, and don't have enough players in midfield generally. At 33 - 34 this summer - he's coming to the end of his career soon anyway.With the amount of turnover expected in the squad again, with plenty of players lined up for the can already, the stability of retaining him makes more sense than adding him to the list. It would be careless in the extreme not to buy a player capable of replacing him this season, even if the replacement becomes permanent the season after the next. KEEP HIM, PRAY HE IS A SUB NEXT YEAR.
Slow. He has put his best performances in at left-back where he has been a perfectly reliable replacement for the injury-prone Luke Shaw. In midfield, he's perfectly adequate against mid-table sides, assuming he's surrounded by players of quality. He can also keep possession, and occasionally shows long-range passing that few others can match in the squad. Given there's nowhere better for him to go, and he's a solid 6/10 squad member, he might as well be kept in the squad, and pray he isn't first choice. AS ABOVE.
An odd one. For all the praise in the summer ahead of his move, and the reviews of him from his time in Spain, it would be quite reasonable to have expected more than he gave this season. His teamwork with Juan Mata, to score the first at Liverpool, and his energy in attack, shows there's a valuable player there. He has seven goals in 29 games this season, and plays far better when he's further up the pitch. At 25, he will need to improve significantly to be the long-term solution to some of United's midfield problems, but there's no reason to think that with another year of Louis van Gaal's coaching and some more talented colleagues, that at least some of that improvement won't come next season. EARNED ANOTHER YEAR.
A goal every three games from the right wing, with the ability to create room to the right for his full-back, it's clear he'll be an excellent partner for Nathaniel Clyne or Seamus Coleman in the same way he is for Antonio Valencia, if it isn't for the fact that Valencia is now a terrible player to have on a football pitch. With more movement ahead of him - and United fans will have to hope Rooney or another striker starts making more runs ahead of him - his passing would be even more effective. Save for his goals, though, he has rarely made decisive interventions in assisting goals this season. IMAGINE HOW WELL HE COULD PLAY WITH PEOPLE WHO COULD RUN.
Angel di Maria
Oh dear. He's usually so good that it's worth giving him another run with players the equal of those he had alongside him with Real Madrid, and he might then be able to be a threatening winger on either side of the pitch, and perhaps more constructively, occupy the left-hand side of midfield as he did at Real. Given his utter softness, that depends on buying a grown up to play alongside him. IMAGINE HOW WELL HE COULD PLAY WITH PEOPLE WHO COULD PLAY. OR SELL HIM TO PSG IF HE'S GOING TO STAY MARDY.
A significant but barely acceptable improvement in his displays this year, but they've been overstated. For much of the season he's been just as bad as his teammates, and his free kicks, corners and crossing are nowhere near what they were for Aston Villa or in his first year at United. He's managed two goals all season, which you would expect to be bettered by some distance when Memphis Depay replaces him. Perhaps, like Carrick, he is worth keeping in the squad given he has adapted to Van Gaal's instructions. SIGN THE CONTRACT, SIT DOWN, SHUT UP.
Obviously, he hasn't played enough to judge him properly this season. He showed enough in 2013/14 to hint that he's got the ability to achieve as much as any other player his age. He needs to hit the weights, and he needs more experience where he is given responsibility and opportunity. SHOVE OFF TO EVERTON FOR A YEAR AND EAT LOTS OF EGGS.
Some crucial goals, some embarrassing rubbish when he's had to pass, and some hapless fouling in defence. However, he's clearly got a knack for winning the ball when lumped at him, and for the last fifteen minutes of games that could be essential. There's nobody else that can do what he does well in the squad (though that's the same for what he does badly, too). If he's the starting attacking midfielder next season, abandon hope, we've gone anti-football for good. Like many of the other players here, it makes sense to keep hold of him because with Champions League football, a much bigger squad will be needed. WELCOME TO MANCHESTER, THE BELGIAN JAN KOLLER.