MANCHESTER -- Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has confirmed that the search for Michael Carrick's long-term successor has started.
Carrick is expected to retire at the end of the season and join Mourinho's coaching staff at Old Trafford. United have been linked with Nice midfielder Jean Michael Seri and Lazio's Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Mourinho has revealed he is already on the look-out for Carrick's replacement.
He told a news conference on Friday: "We need to sign a midfield player because we are going to lose Michael Carrick.
"Of course, we need balance in the team. Yes, we are looking and we are going to try to sign a midfield player."
United's head of global scouting, Marcel Bout, watched Seri, 26, play 90 minutes in a 2-2 draw with Monaco last month.
There were also scouts at Nice's 3-2 defeat to Lokomotiv Moscow in the Europa League on Thursday night.
Mourinho may be forced to sign two midfielders if Marouane Fellaini does not agree a new contract. But the United manager is still ruling out a move for an attacking player in the summer, even with the prospect of Zlatan Ibrahimovic joining the LA Galaxy.
He added: "When some of you keep saying that we are going to buy that striker, that winger, that left winger, that right winger, I told you two months ago.
"You can accuse me of many many things, but you cannot say that I lied to you. When I don't want to say things, I don't say. But I don't take you in other directions.
"I told you a couple of months ago that we don't want to sign any striker or any winger."
Carrick is set to be included in the squad for Saturday's FA Cup fifth-round tie against Huddersfield after making just his second start of the season in the last round against Yeovil.
Angel Gomes, 17, came on as a late substitute at Huish Park and Mourinho revealed another youngster could be on the bench against Hudderfield, with both Ander Herrera and Marcus Rashford ruled out through injury.
He said: "Maybe I will have one of the kids on the bench.
"Scott McTominay didn't arrive here from the moon.
"Before he came to the first-team he trained with us many times last season. He came to us in preseason and then we realised that with Andreas Pereira going to Valencia, we decided not to buy another player because we had Scott McTominay ready to step up.
"The objective of having a squad that is not so big is exactly to be open for this.
"This week, for example, we didn't have a few players with injuries and small things we wanted to protect and didn't train with the team and made individual training, the kids trained with us yesterday and before that."