WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND – MARCH 16: Ander Herrera of Manchester United during the FA Cup Quarter Final match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Manchester United at Molineux on March 16, 2019 in Wolverhampton, England.
Manchester United are expecting to lose their Spanish midfielder Ander Herrera to Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer this summer, but contrary to reports, have made strenuous efforts to keep him at Old Trafford.
My understanding is United offered him a 4-year contract that would have almost doubled his current salary and paid him considerably more than the £200,000 it has been reported he will receive elsewhere.
The club have been in discussions with the player about a new contract since early 2018, and made multiple offers, and this was the final one.
But Herrera’s agent, probably based on a contract offer from another club, was pushing for an amount as high as £300,000 a week over five years.
Had United matched this he would possibly have been prepared to stay, but the club decided not to pay such a high salary to a player who turns 30 at the start of next season and wasn’t guaranteed to be in the starting XI.
A perception has built up that United were too slow to come to the table with an offer and didn’t communicate well with the player, but my understanding is they made him several offers he simply chose to reject.
Since arriving from Atheltic Bilbao for £29 million in the summer of 2014, Herrera has grown in to a respected and popular player at the club.
But he has mainly been a squad player at Old Trafford, and only once in his five seasons at the club has he been in United’s top 10 list for playing time.
The Spaniard enjoyed a revival in form under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at the start of the year, but is currently out of the side with an injury.
The United manager has made it clear that whatever happens he is a player who would remain in his plans for the rest of the season. “He loves to play, so he’s not very happy when he can’t help his team-mates and he’s always giving it his all. It doesn’t matter if he’s got five years left of his contract or five weeks.”