Athletic Bilbao Reportedly Want Return of Manchester United's Ander Herrera

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistOctober 8, 2018

Manchester United's Spanish midfielder Ander Herrera stands on the pitch during the pre-season friendly football match between FC Bayern Munich and Manchester United at the Allianz Arena in Munich, southern Germany on August 5, 2018. (Photo by Christof STACHE / AFP)        (Photo credit should read CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP/Getty Images)
CHRISTOF STACHE/Getty Images

Athletic Bilbao will reportedly try to convince Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera to return to the club in January.

Herrera is in the final year of his deal and could leave Old Trafford as a free agent in the summer. Per El Correo (h/t Sport Witness), the Basque thinks his time at United is up and his former team have already made contact.

Herrera joined United from the Basque club in 2014 but was only ever a regular starter during the 2016-17 campaign. He's been a solid rotation option for some time, but an exit seems likely.

The 29-year-old has been held back by injuries this season, but even at full health he sits behind the likes of Paul Pogba and Fred in the pecking order. 

Bilbao maintain a strict transfer policy that only allows the club to sign players who have Basque heritage or were trained in the Basque Country, which severely restricts their options.

It's why they're never shy of going after former club members. Fernando Llorente was asked by Mundo Deportivo about a potential return to the club ahead of Tottenham Hotspur's Champions League meeting with Barcelona (h/t Inside Athletic):

Herrera seems an attainable candidate for Athletic. Their midfield could use a significant upgrade, as the likes of Raul Garcia and Dani Garcia were overrun by rivals Real Sociedad in the recent 3-1 loss.

If a new contract isn't an option, United will have to decide whether they want to cash in on the player while they still can in January or keep him around for depth and lose him on a free transfer in the summer.

Given the limited options available to Athletic, a January sale could be lucrative for the Red Devils.  

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