Barcelona are keeping a close eye on Ander Herrera struggling situation at Manchester United, ahead of making a future move for the midfielder either in the January transfer window or in the summer, according to Mundo Deportivo. The Champions League winners couldn't make any signing last summer due to a Fifa ban and are in desperate need to bolster the squad following the departures of Pedro Rodriguez to Chelsea, Xavi Hernandez to Qatar and the long-term injury of Rafinha Alcantara.
Arda Turan and Aleix Vidal will join the team in January once the Fifa ban ends. But Luis Enrique is also keen on signing a versatile forward to replace Pedro, with Arsenal target Nolito reportedly as the main candidate.
Mundo Deportivo, meanwhile, reports that the club are also monitoring the situation of a number of midfielders due to the shortage in the squad and the age of 31-years-old Andrés Iniesta. Juventus star Paul Pogba is said to be on the top of his shopping list since last summer but the Catalans are also tracking the likes of Herrera, Marco Verrati or İlkay Gündoğan as more affordable options.
Barcelona were already linked with Herrera in the summer of 2014 when the Spaniard instead joined United after Louis van Gaal accepted to meet his €36m (£26m) release clause at Athletic Bilbao. The Catalans have since been keeping an eye to the midfielder progress in the Premier League and according to Mundo Deportivo may take advantage of his struggling situation under the Dutch boss to lure him back to La Liga.
Herrera, nevertheless, has struggled to convince van Gaal to deserve a regular place in his line-ups despite having become a favourite for the Old Trafford supporters since the very first day at the club. Last season the Spaniard lived on the exiled during the first months at the club but managed to turn into a crucial asset for the team in the second part of the campaign – receiving the club's player of the month award in February and April while scoring eight goals.
He was expected to have a leading role in the new season, but the Spanish publication claim that he has instead seen his playing time restricted again due to the summer arrivals of both Bastian Schweinsteiger and Morgan Schneiderlin. Herrera has started just two Premier League games in the current season while was even left out of the squad during the last 3-0 defeat against Arsenal.
Mundo Deportivo understands that he still has a contract at Old Trafford until 2018 should the situation remained unchange, and the Premier League giants will be forced to put him on the market for less than the £26m they paid for him in 2014. Meanwhile, the Catalan newspaper added that Herrera's agent Arturo Canales holds a good relationship with the Barcelona board as is the same representative of Gerard Piqué.