Barcelona plan surprise move for Man United star to replace Nou Camp legendPublished October 23, 2017
Manchester United are facing a battle to keep hold of one of their stars this summer, with Barcelona surprisingly circling for Ander Herrera as they look for Andres Iniesta’s long term successor.
The Blaugrana legend, 33, was out of contract at Camp Nou until recently, but while he has penned a new deal, the club still feel there is a need to put a contingency plan in place in the event that he either leaves the club or retires.
Reports throughout the last transfer window suggested Barcelona’s main target was PSG midfielder Marco Verratti. The Italian is widely regarded to be the natural heir to Iniesta, but they struggled to lure him away from the Parc des Princes after the sale of Neymar to the French club. His arrival, and that of Kylian Mbappe on loan with a view to a permanent deal from Monaco, has turned PSG into genuine Champions League contenders.
As a result, the Catalans have been made to look elsewhere and the Daily Express is suggesting Herrera is their next target. The Spaniard is extremely popular at Manchester United, but since the arrival of Nemanja Matic has lost his regular spot in the team when everybody is fit. He has played more recently, but that is because Paul Pogba has been missing through injury; it is unsure whether he would welcome interest from Barcelona.
With the World Cup next summer, it will be vital for Herrera to be playing regularly which could mean he pushes for a move in January if the situation doesn’t change. Barcelona do not have another type of midfielder in a similar mould to Iniesta, with Andre Gomes and Paulinho excelling in different ways, so it would help continuity if they did manage to clinch a deal for Herrera in the coming months.
After a shaky season last year, which saw them surrender their league title to Real Madrid, Barcelona are looking strong again. Ernesto Valverde replaced Luis Enrique in the summer and has had to deal with a lot of turbulence already, but with his team top of La Liga, he has steadied the ship and, having worked with Herrera previously at Athletic Bilbao, he could be about to make another stamp on the team.