By North-west correspondent Alex Stevens

Louis van Gaal has urged Manchester United to keep Michael Carrick beyond this season, Football Insider sources understand.

Carrick is out of contract in the summer and has said that he does not know if his future lies at Old Trafford.

However, a United source has told Football Insider that manager Van Gaal has recommended that the club tie their second longest-serving player to a new deal.

The 34-year-old England international has remained a key member of the team despite the signings of Bastian Schweinsteiger and Morgan Schneiderlin last summer.

Carrick, who turns 35 in June, has made 28 appearances for United this season, 21 of which have been starts. He has also filled in admirably in central defence in the last two matches alongside Daley Blind.

Carrick sustained an ankle injury on international duty in November but has generally stayed clear of serious injury in his 11th season at the club.

Van Gaal and his assistant Ryan Giggs are big admirers of the veteran midfielder and believe his current £125,000-a-week deal should be extended, but the final decision could rest with Jose Mourinho, who is set to be installed as the new manager in the summer.

Asked last week about his future, Carrick told TalkSPORT: “I don’t know, to be honest. I don’t expect to play every game – this week the run of games we’ve had to play would be a big ask for me.

“I’ve probably played 25, 26, 27 games or something so far, so it’s not bad. I want to play every game because you’re used to playing most games, but it’s just how it is.

Centre court: Van Gaal has recommended a new deal for Carrick

Centre court: Van Gaal has recommended a new deal for Carrick

“I’m just enjoying playing at the moment. How long is it going to last? When you get to this stage, you don’t know, so I am just trying to enjoy it for what it is and see where that takes me.”

Carrick joined United from Tottenham for £18million in 2006 and his 10-year spell at Old Trafford is bettered among the current squad only by Wayne Rooney, who moved to the club 12 months earlier.

The midfielder has attracted interest from Newcastle as well as clubs in the US, including LA Galaxy and New York Red Bulls.