Barcelona’s shocking enquiry for Ander Herrera, although initially taken lightly, has started to gain traction in the last couple of days. And although Manchester United would be unwilling to sell the midfielder, who has played a significant for the side last season, there have already been suggestions of United holding out a price of £60 million for the 27-year-old.
Barcelona have Paris Saint-Germain’s Marco Verratti as their top priority this summer but the Ligue 1 side’s astronomical asking price for the Italian international could lead Barca to turn their attention to Herrera. The Catalans new manager Ernesto Valverde could also be an influencing factor in the deal.
The former Athletic Bilbao manager had managed Herrera during their stint with the Basque club and could hold a lure for the Spaniard at Nou Camp. And if by any chance, the deal goes through, here are three replacements for him-
Fabinho- The Brazilian is the closest option United can get their hands on in replacing Herrera this summer. The AS Monaco defensive midfielder hasn’t shied away from admiring the English club’s interest in him. At 23, he could be a long-term solution alongside Pogba in the United midfield.
Although Mourinho is closing in on Nemanja Matic from the Blues, Fabinho would provide the versatility in the defensive third, that United lack. He had played a huge role for the Ligue 1 Champions last season and could be the season-changing buy for United.
Radja Nainggolan- Jose Mourinho desperately wants the Belgian international to join the side owing to his aggressive approach and AS Roma’s ongoing financial woes for breaching the Financial Fair Play rules is also forcing them for some major clear-outs. They are holding out a whopping £50 million for their midfielder, which reflects his ability from the deep. Nainggolan has scored 14 goals and registered seven assists in his 53 appearances for the club last season.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain- Last season was finally his breakthrough season since arriving at the club as a 17-year-old from Southampton. The winger, who can play as a full-back, central midfield and also a striker, could be the perfect fit for Mourinho. Similar to Pogba, the English player relies largely on heavy work rate and has tremendous pace on the flanks. In a shifting formation, the player could be immensely productive and is yet to have a huge price tag slapped on his head. There have been reports of the player refusing Arsenal’s contract extension as he approaches the final year of his contract.