Since Louis van Gaal agreed to take the reins at Manchester United, it’s become more difficult to name players who haven't been linked with a move to Old Trafford than those who have.
Every world-class name in the game is rumoured to be a Red Devil in the making, and the latest star reportedly on the brink of being red is Andres Iniesta.
The Barcelona star worked with Van Gaal during the manager's two spells at the Nou Camp and recently heaped praise on the Dutchman during an interview with Barca TV—reported via Joe Krishnan of The Independent:
When asked if Van Gaal was an imposing figure, Iniesta replied:
Yes. He already commands respect when you are a veteran, so imagine when you have just entered the team and you are young. But the truth is I have a special memory of him, because he is someone very important to me and if there was something he cared about was supporting the young players from the reserves.
Van Gaal, currently in Brazil working wonders with the Dutch national team, is believed to be the reason behind Barcelona's golden generation of stars, with Iniesta the central figure.
However, United fans can't look too deeply into Iniesta's praise despite a reshuffle being expected at Barcelona, as the Spaniard is going nowhere.
With four years remaining on his contract in Catalonia, and life on and off the pitch far from gloomy for the midfielder, United must focus on bringing their own brand of Iniestas through rather than trying to prise the man himself away from his boyhood club.
Famously a one-club man, Iniesta made his debut back in 2002 and has forged himself into one of the best players on the planet—the kind of player who deserves a place in the Champions League.
Many United fans are expecting Van Gaal to come into the job and have the Premier League title back with a click of his fingers, but it won't be as simple as that.
With so many Premier League teams now full of class worthy of Europe's elite competition, even a top-four place isn't guaranteed—meaning that Iniesta's career could hit a brick wall if he made the switch to Old Trafford.
Already written into domestic and international football folklore, Iniesta will likely bow out of the game as a Barcelona player, but United have signed a player who could well be the next Spanish midfield maestro.
Ander Herrera, who moved to Old Trafford from Athletic Bilbao last month, has all the credentials to make United's midfield a force once again, and Guillem Balague believes he could follow in the footsteps of Iniesta—per The Telegraph:
Ander Herrera is one of those rare commodities namely a great professional but also a real football fan. An intelligent, quick attacking midfielder with a great brain and a superb attitude he is not dissimilar to his idol, Andres Iniesta, who might or might never get Andres highs but he is nevertheless considered by many to be the logical successor in the Spanish side to Barcelona’s mercurial maestro.
The way that Herrera glides around the park is reminiscent of Iniesta in his pomp, and while he may never score a World Cup-winning goal or lift multiple Champions League titles, the future is certainly bright for the 24-year-old.
Rio Ferdinand also feels that Herrera possesses the grit and determination to become a United star, as he revealed via Twitter:
With Van Gaal signing Herrera and teenage left-back Luke Shaw, it's clear that the Dutchman is looking for a long-term solution to United's problems rather than bringing in 30-year-olds at the top of their game.
While Iniesta would be a welcome addition to any side in the world, United are aiming for 11 Iniestas, not just one.