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Barcelona looking to raid Manchester United, player not so keen…

Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera is a target for Barcelona this summer if the Catalan club fails to lure Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Marco Verratti, according to reports. For weeks now, the speculation has been rife linking the Italian midfielder with the La Liga runner’ up with suggestions of an €80 million transfer fee, which I am sure Barcelona would pay for the 24-year-old. Verratti seems keen for a new challenge away from Paris with the Catalan club prestigious enough and needing reinforcements in the midfield to content with the likes of Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid next season in a bid to regain the La Liga title which was taken by Real Madrid at the end of the season, on their way to retaining the UEFA Champions League trophy.

Spanish publication SPORT carried a picture of Herrera on the front page on Thursday using the headline “Plan B a Verratti”, which suggested Herrera would be the secondary target should the Catalan club fail to lure the Italian to the club this summer, which is a possibility. Herrera’s Old Trafford contract will run out in a year’s time, but on signing for United three years ago, Herrera had a clause inserted for a further year which could be added onto his current contract. Of course, United should be looking to secure the player to a new long-term contract, which is probably in the works with the player currently on holiday and due to return to the AON Training Complex next week before the club departs on their pre-season tour in the United States of America.

United would, of course, be unlikely to let Herrera leave the Theatre of Dreams without a fight, especially after his escapades in midfield last season, where he did enough to warrant a new contract at the club. The fact he marked Eden Hazard out of the 2-0 victory over Chelsea at Old Trafford was enough to see what the former Athletic Bilbao midfielder was capable of. The Spanish newspaper have also linked Barcelona to Leicester City midfielder Riyad Mahrez, who is seemingly a target for Arsenal once again this summer as they look to assemble a squad capable of continuing their decline ahead of the new season, which seems to be the way the club are heading. Herrera once spoke about his former managers, including Ernesto Valverde, saying:

“I’ve had some wonderful managers: Marcelino, who gave me my debut; Gay, Aguirre, Bielsa, Valverde, who made the biggest impression on me due to the way he was in the dressing room and because he’s a fantastic guy. Not just in terms of football, but for his way of being, the way he was in the dressing room, working with those that did and didn’t play. He is a crack.”

Whilst it is great to see clubs like Barcelona interested in Manchester United players, it may only be a dream that the Catalans think they can lure Herrera to the Nou Camp as by all accounts, he is not interested in leaving the Old Trafford club yet, being fully concentrated on the task at hand – helping to return the club to the helm of English and European football, which could well continue next season is manager Jose Mourinho has anything to do with it, which he will, of course. Whilst Herrera has respect for his former manager, Valverde, a reunion does not seem to be on the cards. Herrera seems to have lots of unfinished business at the Old Trafford club and in the Premier League, also looking to be part of the Spain squad for next summer’s FIFA World Cup in Russia.

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