Manchester United have held new deal talks with Ander Herrera, amid fresh reports Barcelona are preparing a bid for the midfielder.
Representatives of the Spain star have been out in the US for talk with senior United figures as the club bids to tie Herrera down to an extended contract at Old Trafford.
Herrera, the former Athletic Bilbao star and reigning Player of the Year at Manchester United, has 12 months left to run on the deal he signed in June 2014 following his £28.8 million move from to Old Trafford, albeit with the option of a further year.
Arturo Canales, Herrera’s agent, was in America during the final week of United’s 18-day tour and met with the club’s hierarchy to discuss the terms of an extension.
While terms are yet to be finalised, multiple reports on Saturday morning suggest an agreement is close to being finalised, with the 27-year-old likely to sign a new deal to 2021.
After a difficult second season at United under Louis van Gaal, Herrera was switched into a more defensive midfield role by Jose Mourinho. The change proved something of a masterstroke as the player not only gave Paul Pogba the freedom to adjust to his new surroundings, but also saw the Spaniard’s game improve significantly.
His form has brought about international recognition with Spain – something he was unlikely to ever see in his more advanced midfield role – as well as admiring glances from Barcelona.
Reports in Spain suggest new head coach Ernesto Valverde is planning an approach for Herrera, but an extension to the midfielder’s contract will end that hope before it has begun.