Michael Carrick's new Middlesbrough contract will symbolise the perfect start to the summer

Michael Carrick, head coach of Middlesbrough, applauds the fans
Michael Carrick, head coach of Middlesbrough, applauds the fans -Credit:2024 Getty Images

Michael Carrick looks set to sign a new Middlesbrough contract in what would represent a perfect start to the summer for the club.

Teesside Live revealed back in February that the club were close to an agreement with the head coach to extend his deal at the Riverside, with his current deal set to expire at the end of next season. While finalising that deal was ultimately shelved as Boro played out the remainder of their campaign, an agreement always seemed likely to come this summer.

Alas, though not yet officially confirmed by the club yet, a Telegraph report on Friday said that Carrick is set to sign a new deal and remain as Boro boss next season having already made clear his ambitions to challenge for promotion next season after a strong finish to the current campaign.

READ MORE: 'I love it here' - Michael Carrick on his Middlesbrough contract, future and hunger for success

When asked about his contract back in March, Carrick told Teesside Live: "I'm relaxed about it. Everyone is clamouring for news on something. Nothing has changed, I'm here, I love it here, I'm enjoying it. As I've said with the players, things will happen naturally in time. There's no deadline, there's no chasing, there's no agendas. I'm just here and working hard. I'm happy, there are no issues, nothing has changed, I love it here."

And on his plans for next season as this one came to an end, he later said: "We’re striving to challenge for promotion next season and we won’t hide from that. We had a good season last season but fell a little bit short in the end. We were close this season but had a lot more challenges along the way.

"There will be some big teams and tough teams in the league next season, as there was this season. But we feel we can compete, so we’re looking forward to it.”

Boro have been striving for something long-term at the club after far too many management changes in recent years. In fact, Carrick became the first boss since Aitor Karanka to be in charge of Boro on successive Christmas Days last year. There has always been a feeling that, even with potential Premier League interest and obvious ambition, Carrick is in it for the long term on Teesside and buys into the project being led by Kieran Scott. Signing that new contract will be the biggest indication of that.

It will be timely for Boro too, at a time when many Premier League clubs make big decisions as their seasons come to an end this weekend. David Moyes is already confirmed to leave West Ham - the club where Carrick started his playing career and has therefore been linked with a return since turning around Boro's fortunes with such a positive start to life in management.

The Hammers look set to appoint former Spain, Real Madrid and Wolves boss Julen Lopetegui this summer, though one club legend has already said that they should have made a move for Carrick.

Frank McAvennie told West Ham Zone: “There were big problems at Wolves, weren’t there? He’s come into the Premier League before but he’s not set the world on fire, has he? Managing abroad and managing in this country are two different things. And then the Spain thing, when he went and spoke to Real Madrid.

"Well, I don’t blame him [for doing that] but you can’t just jump ship, no matter who you are. You’ve got a responsibility to Spain.This makes me think, if he was to get the West Ham job, if something bigger were to come up, he’d be off. I don’t know the guy, but for him to leave the Spanish job to go to Real Madrid, that’s a big statement, isn’t it?

"It means he’s sought-after. But listen, I’m old school but I’d have liked to have brought in maybe Michael Carrick. That would have done me if someone like that had come in. Somebody who knows the club and somebody who knows how to get the best out of players.”

While it's not known if Carrick was ever strongly considered at West Ham at this stage, what's clear is that many top-flight clubs will be taking notice of his Boro exploits with a view to future management decisions. David Ornstein of the Athletic offered interesting insight into how Premier League clubs view Carrick right now.

He wrote: "Carrick scores very well on the data analysis conducted by clubs who have been/are looking at the managerial market (even Liverpool when they were in the process of finding Klopp’s successor) and he looks to be building an impressive early career in the dugout.”

In truth, particularly in the manager market where compensation fees are rarely as high as player transfer fees, contracts mean little as far as actually securing his stay. If a club comes in at some point for Carrick's services and he decides it's the right move for him at that time, the reality is his time at Boro will come to an end, regardless of time remaining on his contract. The length will help Boro command a higher compensation fee but that's about it.

More than anything, however, Carrick signing a new deal will be symbolic, and the perfect start to Boro's summer - which will be an important one if they are to meet Carrick's ambitions and challenge for promotion next season.

Having secured Isaiah Jones' new contract recently, the club hope to do the same with Riley McGree, while they hope to convince key men like Rav van den Berg, Hayden Hackney and Emmanuel Latte Lath to stay. On top of that, they're hoping to add quality in key areas to their squad in the summer transfer market.

Sealing a new contract for Carrick will prove key to giving Boro the best possible chance of achieving all of the above. The head coach is immensely popular with the existing Boro players, while his standing in the game after a legendary playing career makes him an obvious asset to Boro as far as selling points for prospective signings go.

Van den Berg recently told how Carrick and assistant Jonathan Woodgate were fundamental to his decision to move to Teesside last summer. With Boro hoping to pull off many more coups this summer, that new Carrick contract may be little more than symbolism, but it will be the perfect start to the summer.