Manchester United star Paul Pogba's latest injury setback could allow Ander Herrera to win a place back in Jose Mourinho's starting lineup after falling out of favour at Old Trafford at the end of the 2016/17 season.
According to the Daily Mail, the Spain international invited a friend who has close links to Celta Vigo to the Red Devils' Arrington training just before the 20-time English champions faced the La Liga outfit in the Europa League semi-final.
The incident did not go down well with the Portuguese tactician, who then called Herrera into his office. Since that incident, a change in the relationship between Mourinho and the midfielder has been noticed around the club. A source told the Daily Mail that the dynamic between the pair has changed since the incident.
"We used to joke that he was Jose's golden boy, and they were always chatting about the game,' said an insider on Thursday night. But the dynamic has changed since the end of last season. It's not the same," a source was quoted as saying to the Daily Mail.
The same report also claims this has no impact on the talks over a new deal for Herrera. The 28-year-old, who arrived at Old Trafford from Atheltic Bilbao in 2014, has one year left on his contract.
Herrera was voted as United's Player of the Year last season, but has not been a regular inclusion in the starting lineup, especially due to the arrival of Nemanja Matic in the summer. The Spaniard started only twice in all competitions, against Real Madrid in the Uefa Super Cup and Stoke City.
United registered a comfortable 3-0 victory over FC Basel in the Champions League. The clash saw Pogba forced off the field with a hamstring injury and the France international is expected to spend the next four to six weeks on the sidelines.
Pogba's injury setback could allow Herrera to get back into the starting lineup. Mourinho has used Matic, and the former Juventus man in the central midfield position. The latter's absence in the next few weeks allows Herrera to fight with Marouane Fellaini and Michael Carrick for a place in the starting lineup.
United face Everton, Southampton and Crystal Palace in the league, while they host Burton Albion in the Carabao Cup in September. In addition to this, they face CSKA Moscow in the Champions League and the clash is sandwiched between the last two league fixtures this month. With five matches to play in September, Herrera will be hoping to win his place back in the starting lineup after Pogba's absence.