Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera has been tipped to sign a new contract to extend his stay at Old Trafford after caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has reportedly convinced the Spaniard that he has a future at the club.
United exercised a 12-month extension clause in Herrera’s contract last season to extend its expiry date to June 2019. As things stand he could leave as a free agent at the end of the season and is already eligible to negotiate with overseas clubs.
However, according to The Sun, Herrera is ‘ready to commit himself’ to United. The alleged reason is that interim boss Solskjaer has ‘insisted’ the player has a future with the Red Devils and is seemingly so enamoured because of the ‘affection’ that Herrera displays for the club.
Herrera’s tenacious midfield style is popular with fans, while he has often been praised for the way he ‘gets it’ in a way that overseas players sometimes don’t. That perhaps comes from being used to playing for a club steeped in history and tradition after his time with Athletic Bilbao.
As it happens, Bilbao are a club eyeing a move for Herrera, with director Rafael Alkorta this week confirming interest in the 29-year-old as well as three other former players, Javi Martinez, Ibai Gomez and Fernando Llorente.
Herrera, who played his way into the Spain national team squad in 2016 and has played twice for La Roja, was also previously linked with Barcelona when ex-Bilbao coach Ernesto Valverde first arrived at Camp Nou. That speculation has long since dried up, however.
Herrera was named United’s Player of the Year for 2016/17, the only player other than fellow countryman David de Gea to win the prestigious prize in the last five seasons.
But, rather bizarrely, he was then suddenly dropped from favour the following campaign after Nemanja Matic arrived and has only regained a regular place in the last six weeks.
Initially brought back in under Jose Mourniho in early December, he has started three of Solskjaer’s four Premier League games in charge to date, playing the other as a 53rd minute substitute, and has scored once and provided two assists.