United’s main aim this season under Jose Mourinho is to earn a route back into Europe’s elite club competition.
From a footballing and financial standpoint, the Red Devils need to finish in the top four or win the Europa League.
Mourinho’s top summer target Antoine Griezmann will reportedly only leave Atletico Madrid for United if Champions League action is on offer.
Michael Carrick says Manchester United want to attract top players
You only celebrate when you win, but the Champions League is a big part of this club
And while experienced 34-year-old Carrick accepts that will be a selling point for new arrivals at Old Trafford, it doesn’t mean the team should revel in achieving the bare minimum.
“It’s not something we’d celebrate, if we finished third, fourth or even second,” Carrick told the Mirror.
“You only celebrate when you win, but the Champions League is a big part of this club.
“It’s where you want to play, it’s where the best players want to play.
Jose Mourinho wants to bring superstar striker Antoine Griezmann to Manchester United this summer
Premier League predicted table: February update
Mon, February 6, 2017
Is this how the Premier League table could look at the end of the season (table created by the stats geeks over at footballwebpages.com)
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Michael Carrick, who has won five Premier League titles at Man Utd, won't celebrate finishing second
“So in terms of attracting players and all that type of stuff, the club is geared up for that, of course it is.
“But you can only celebrate winning, really, and finishing top.”
Manchester United sit sixth with 24 games gone, however, they are only two points off fourth-placed Arsenal now.
Mourinho’s men are on a 15-game unbeaten run in the league, and Carrick could start when they face Watford at Old Trafford tomorrow (3pm).