By Dave Marshall
Manchester United have reportedly opened contract talks with Spanish midfielder, Ander Herrera as they look to ward off Barcelona’s interest in the 27-year-old.
Jose Mourinho is keen to reward Herrera’s improvement in the last 12 months, and will encourage the board to pat him around £175k-a -week deal, a move that will catapult him to the company of the club’s highest earners , according to Daily Star. New Barcelona manager, Ernesto Valverde is keen to reunite with his former player, as the pair worked together at Athletic Bilbao prior to Herrera moving to Old Trafford in 2014.
Despite Zlatan Ibrahimovic performing wonders in his first season at the club and David de Gea excellent yet again in goal, it was his countryman, Herrera who went home with the club’s Player of the Year award, as he was excellent throughout the campaign.
Jose Mourinho struggled to find a way to blood in world record signing, Paul Pogba last season after his highly-anticipated arrival last summer, and tried a variety of formations to help his new arrival settle in. He used Carrick, Fellaini, Pogba and Herrera in different variants of formations but finally settled on a triumvirate of Pogba, Herrera and Carrick as it was the most balanced midfield trio.
Herrera earned admirers for his tenacious play last season. Under Louis van Gaal in his first two seasons, he was used in a more defensive role, but was used more progressively last season under the Portuguese, going forward and both backward in equal amounts of energy. Since joining from Bilbao in 2014, he has established himself as a fans’ favourite, making 122 appearances in that time and scoring 15 goals.