Sagnol told RMC (h/t Metro) that Herrera "is no better" than Leandro Paredes, a PSG recruit in January: "He's the same kind of player, and they are not the ones who make you go through stages. If you want to be a big club and win the Champions League, you need big players. You need a general in the middle."
Paredes was acquired from Zenit St. Petersburg in a deal worth an initial £34.7 million. It's a transfer that's left former France international and Bayern Munich full-back Sagnol bemused: "Me, I continue to say today, I do not know why they paid €50 million for Paredes. For me, he’s still an enigma."
It's hard to disagree with the sentiment behind Sagnol's words, even if United still have strong motivation and a good chance of keeping former Athletic Bilbao ace Herrera in Manchester.
PSG are said to view the 29-year-old Herrera, whose contract with United is up this summer, "as a relatively low-cost midfield option," according to James Ducker of the Daily Telegraph.
A club with PSG's ample financial resources settling for "low-cost" options is difficult to understand. The disparity is even tougher to take for a club on a mission to finally make the grade in the UEFA Champions League.
Failures in Europe's premier club tournament have become common and increasingly embarrassing for Les Parisiens. They blew a 4-0 first-leg lead in the last 16 against Barcelona in 2017, famously losing the return leg 6-1 at the Camp Nou.
As historic as the collapse was, it may not have been as painful as losing out to Herrera and the Red Devils at the same stage this year. PSG won 2-0 at Old Trafford before losing 3-1 in controversial circumstances at the Parc des Princes in early March.
Marcus Rashford hammered in a late penalty after Presnel Kimpembe was judged after video review to have used his hand to block a shot. The defeat prompted immediate recriminations about PSG's ability to win at the highest level.
Even so, manager Thomas Tuchel is reportedly set for a contract extension, per Telefoot (h/t Get French Football News).
Tuchel needs to make refreshing his central midfield ranks a priority. Marco Verratti struggled against United, while Lassana Diarra retired during this season.
Those things compound the uncertainty surrounding Adrien Rabiot. The 23-year-old playmaker's deal is up at the end of the campaign, and he's attracting interest from Arsenal, Liverpool and United, per Jake Polden of the Sunday Mirror.
PSG need an infusion of talent in central areas to avoid wasting their marquee talent up front. While the club has shelled out to acquire Neymar and Kylian Mbappe in recent years, the level of investment hasn't been replicated when addressing other areas of the team.