MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) - Manchester United's Michael Carrick will retire from playing at the end of the season and take up a first-team coaching role at the Old Trafford club, manager Jose Mourinho said on Friday.
The 36-year-old former England midfielder has not played since experiencing an irregular heart rhythm in September, though he began training again in November following treatment.
"The club would be very happy for him to do that (coach). I would be very happy also for him to do that," Mourinho was quoted as saying by British media. "I expect him to join."
Carrick played in four pre-season games for United but his sole competitive appearance this season was in their League Cup win over Burton Albion when he began "feeling strange".
He had treatment called a cardiac ablation, which aims to control or correct certain types of abnormal heart rhythms.
Mourinho said he expected Carrick to return to action this season for United before taking up a coaching role.
"(He had) a few months without even training so now he is in his second week of training with the team. He is a very important player for us," said the Portuguese.
"I think the decision - to be at the end of the season - is a good decision for the team and a good decision for him to finish playing football and not injured or with some problem."
Carrick made his debut for West Ham United in 1999 before joining Tottenham Hotspur in 2004 and then moving to United in 2006. He has played more than 300 games for the club and was named captain before the start of the current campaign.
He has won five Premier League titles, the Champions League, Europa League, FA Cup, three League Cups and the Club World Cup.
(Writing by Ken Ferris; Editing by Greg Stutchbury)