Barcelona are reportedly set to attempt an ambitious double raid on Manchester United for Ander Herrera and Juan Mata.
According to a report in Spanish publication Diario Gol, Barcelona’s search for Andres Iniesta’s long-term successor is intensifying. The Blaugrana have turned their attention towards Manchester United, and are set to make a move for Ander Herrera and Juan Mata.
Herrera and Mata have been key players for Manchester United since the arrival of Jose Mourinho at Old Trafford. While Herrera has blossomed into one of the most complete midfielders in the Premier League under the Portuguese manager, Mata has continued making a mark with his creative ability.
However, there are increasing concerns surrounding the futures of the Spanish duo at Old Trafford, with their respective contracts set to run out at the end of the season. Widespread reports, though, have Manchester United are eager to tie down both Mata and Herrera to new deals, with talks underway with the representatives of the players.
However, there could be a major roadblock in the Red Devils’ pursuit of securing the futures of the duo, with Barcelona weighing up a move for both players as they continue making preparations for when Andres Iniesta eventually calls it a day.
— Transfer Centre Live (@TransferCenLive) October 16, 2017
Barcelona have, in fact, held an interest in signing Herrera for a long time now, having also attempted to bring him to Camp Nou in the summer. However, the player chose to remain with Manchester United, with the Premier League side unwilling to do business either.
Herrera has previously worked under Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde, when both of them were at Athletic Bilbao, with the 28-year-old playing a key role in the Basque club’s stupendous La Liga campaign in the 2013-14 season, when they finished fourth to qualify for the Champions League.
With Herrera finding it tough to break into the starting eleven on a consistent basis upon the arrival of Nemanja Matic this past summer, he could perhaps be persuaded to make the switch to Camp Nou. On the other hand, luring Mata to sign on the dotted line could be a cumbersome task for the Blaugrana.
The 29-year-old is a regular starter at Old Trafford currently, and is seen by Mourinho as an instrumental player to his plans. However, the move to Barcelona could enable Mata to play more centrally, a prospect that he isn’t receiving at Manchester United.
Barcelona see Herrera and Mata as low-cost targets, whose arrivals won’t be a burden on the transfer budget and will help the club reduce its debt at the same time.
However, Manchester United are likely to fight tooth and nail to retain the services of Mata and Herrera, with both players key figures at Old Trafford, and it remains to be seen if Barcelona succeed in their pursuit of the players.