Arsenal are reportedly hoping to beat PSG to the signing of Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera, who will be out of contract at the end of the season.
According to a report from French outlet L’Equipe, Arsenal are plotting a late swoop to hijack Paris Saint-Germain’s attempt to sign Ander Herrera from Premier League rivals Manchester United.
Herrera is in the final few months of his contract with Manchester United and will become a free agent at the end of the season, leading to strong interest from PSG. Negotiations over a new deal between the Spaniard and the Red Devils have been ongoing for quite a while now, but the two parties haven’t been able to arrive at an agreement yet.
It has been reported that Herrera is holding out for a pay packet close to £200,000-a-week including bonuses, which Manchester United are unwilling to match, leading to a contract stand-off. The midfielder recently confirmed as much, claiming that talks were going on but no conclusion had been arrived at.
With his situation not resolved, French champions PSG have swooped in to sign him up in the summer window on a free transfer. The Parisians will be losing Adrien Rabiot at the end of the season, when his contract runs out, while fellow midfielder Christopher Nkunku could also be on his way out, after rejecting a new contract offer, leading to the interest in Herrera.
As per the report from L’Equipe, PSG are in talks with Herrera, who is free to negotiate with foreign clubs, over the possibility of signing a pre-contract agreement. However, the situation might not be as straightforward as Thomas Tuchel’s side would have imagined as Manchester United’s arch-rivals Arsenal are also interested in signing the 29-year-old.
Arsenal are losing star midfielder Aaron Ramsey in the summer, as he will be joining Juventus on a free transfer when his contract expires. That, coupled with the possibility of Mohamed Elneny’s exit, with the Egyptian on Turkish heavyweights Besiktas’ radar, will open up vacancies in the midfield department that the Gunners will need to fill up.
Arsenal boss Unai Emery is believed to be intent on signing Herrera. Emery has seen the former Athletic Bilbao man from close quarters during his time managing in Spain and is reportedly a huge admirer of the Manchester United man. Arsenal’s interest could complicate matters for PSG. However, the report adds that the French outfit are confident of getting the deal over the line.
Herrera signed for Manchester United from Athletic Bilbao in 2014 and over the years has grown into a fan favourite at the club. The midfielder has racked up 187 appearances for the club, winning an FA Cup, a League Cup and the UEFA Europa League.
The 29-year-old had shown signs of developing into a key member of the team under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, but given his contract situation now, an exit seems like a distinct possibility. It remains to be seen if PSG are able to sign him, or if Arsenal beat them to the punch and snap him up.