Herrera to snub Barca, remain at Old Trafford

LONDON • Ander Herrera is ready to turn down a move to Barcelona and commit his future to Manchester United.

New Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde wants to sign Herrera to increase his options in midfield.

The 53-year-old worked with Herrera at Athletic Bilbao for one season before United signed the Spanish international for a fee of about £29 million (S$51 million) in the summer of 2014.

Despite interest from his old manager, whom Herrera regards highly, it is understood that the 27-year-old has no intention of leaving Old Trafford this summer, and is keen on extending his stay after enjoying his most successful season at the club.

The United player recently said: "Valverde 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. "

Herrera's advisers are expected to hold preliminary talks with United officials this summer about the possibility of extending the player's contract. His deal has one year left to run, but the club have an option to extend it by one year.

Herrera is expected to be handed a longer extension and is likely to earn in excess of £100,000 a week under the terms of any new deal.

Herrera was voted United's player of the year earlier this month, beating stiff competition from right-back Antonio Valencia, and striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who scored 28 goals in his maiden campaign in English football.

The Basque midfielder claimed the Man of the Match award in the Europa League final win over Ajax in Stockholm, and started 27 of the club's 38 Premier League matches last season.

The midfielder scored twice and assisted nine goals in all competitions.

Herrera won his first international cap last November in Spain's friendly 2-2 draw with England at Wembley.

But he was then left out 10 days ago by manager Julen Lopetegui for a friendly against Colombia ahead of a World Cup qualifier against Macedonia.

THE TIMES, LONDON

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 31, 2017, with the headline 'Herrera to snub Barca, remain at Old Trafford'. Print Edition | Subscribe