Barcelona plot Man Utd raid, January swoop eyed as contract concerns grow

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Man Utd will reportedly have to be braced for a swoop from Barcelona for midfield ace Ander Herrera in the January transfer window.

The Spaniard was a pivotal figure in Jose Mourinho’s side last season, but things haven’t quite gone to plan this year following the arrival of Nemanja Matic from Chelsea this past summer.

Although he’s become a more regular presence in recent outings in the absence of Paul Pogba, the additional competition for places saw him forced to settle for a place on the bench through the early part of the campaign and in turn he’s been limited to just 221 minutes of Premier League football.

When the French international returns from injury, a similar pattern could emerge and that in turn could be a real concern for Herrera who will be desperate to make the Spain squad for the World Cup in Russia next summer.

According to Don Balon, as re-reported by The Express, he could have a way out. It’s claimed that Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde wants to take him to the Nou Camp as the pair have previously worked together at Athletic Bilbao and so the Barca boss will know all about the midfielder.

It’s noted that Man Utd do have the option of activating a 12-month extension if Herrera agrees to sign, but they have yet to do so and if Barcelona do try their luck in January, United might want to do so sooner rather than later to avoid running the serious risk of losing him.

Barcelona have started the season in great form as they sit top of the La Liga table and their Champions League group, but key additions will need to be made.

Andres Iniesta turns 34 next May while Sergio Busquets is edging closer to 30 and summer signing Paulinho is in a similar stage of his career. In turn, Herrera, 28, is only marginally younger than the latter duo, but with less miles on the clock, he could be an important addition for the Catalan giants.

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