Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera is reportedly contemplating an exit at the end of the season, with former club Athletic Bilbao interested.

As per a report from Spanish outlet El Correo (h/t The Sun), Manchester United could be set to lose Spanish midfielder Ander Herrera next summer. The 29-year-old is in the final year of his contract with the Red Devils, and is understood to be considering an exit at the end of the season, with a return to Athletic Bilbao on the cards.

Herrera joined Manchester United from Bilbao back in the summer of 2014 in a £29 million deal, signing a four-year deal with an option to extend by a further twelve months, which the club had triggered last summer. Since moving to Old Trafford, he has made 164 appearances, scoring 17 goals and assisting 24, winning a League Cup, an FA Cup and the UEFA Europa League in the process.

However, the midfielder has found himself warming the benches more often than not in the past year or so under Jose Mourinho. Herrera started only 13 Premier League matches in the 2017-18 campaign and so far in the ongoing term has featured only three times across all competitions.

Herrera finds himself behind Manchester United’s record signing Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic and Marouane Fellaini in the pecking order. The summer arrival of Fred from Shakhtar Donetsk, along with the emergence of Scott McTominay and Andreas Pereira has further intensified the competition for a starting berth in the middle of the park.

On his way out? (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

On his way out? (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

The 29-year-old had expressed a desire to sign a new contract with Manchester United not very long ago, but seeing his first-team chances reduce so drastically has left him considering a move away from Old Trafford when his current deal expires at the end of the season.

Herrera’s former club, Athletic Bilbao, are keen on taking him back to San Mames, while there has been reported interest in the two-time capped Spanish international from reigning La Liga champions Barcelona and Atletico Madrid as well.

The 29-year-old will be able to enter negotiations with foreign clubs from January. Given the competition for places at Barcelona and Atletico, it is very much likely that Herrera would prefer a return to Bilbao, where first-team opportunities should come his way more regularly.

Manchester United are believed to be keen on tying him down to a new contract. Manager Mourinho sees the 29-year old as a valuable part of the team setup, owing to his experience and the attitude he brings to the table. However, with playing time coming at a premium, the Spaniard could very well be headed out of Old Trafford in the near future.

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