Exclusive: West Ham hold biggest interest in key Middlesbrough man amid Leicester, Crystal Palace competition

Michael Carrick with Hayden Hackney

Middlesbrough have a real fear they could lose manager Michael Carrick this summer to one of three Premier League clubs, TEAMtalk understands.

Carrick has performed brilliantly since arriving on Teesside, taking the club from the edge of a relegation battle to being automatic promotion contenders.

TEAMtalk understands that Carrick is of interest to Leicester City, who parted company with Brendan Rodgers earlier this month and have brought in Dean Smith until the end of the season.

Crystal Palace, also looking for a new manager for this summer after reinstating Roy Hodgson as a temporary replacement for Patrick Vieira, also like Carrick and have done homework on him.

But the biggest interest is emerging from his former club West Ham United, who have already decided they are moving on from David Moyes this summer – whether they stay up or not.

Moyes – who spent some time managing Carrick while their paths crossed at Manchester United – is approaching the end of his second spell in charge of West Ham.

Carrick began his playing career with West Ham before enjoying spells with Tottenham Hotspur and, most memorably, Manchester United. After his retirement in 2018, he began learning his trade on the other side of the touchline among the latter’s coaching ranks.

In October 2022, Middlesbrough offered him his first managerial role, which he has thrived in.

Michael Carrick content at Middlesbrough – but future far from certain

Carrick is very happy at Boro, where he is under contract for another couple of seasons, but he and the club accept that even with promotion it might be hard to keep him.

Middlesbrough are currently in the Championship play-off places with five league games to go. Finishing in the top two might be just out of reach, but they are well in the mix to stay in the top six.

Whatever happens, Carrick has a chance of being a Premier League manager next season.

Of course, the three clubs understood to be interested in him are battling to stay in the top flight. At the time of writing, Leicester are in the relegation zone, while West Ham and Crystal Palace are both in the bottom half still.

Only time will tell which clubs retain their top-flight status and how it affects their respective interest in Carrick.

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