Ander Herrera
Ander Herrera fully committed to United. Getty

Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera has firmly ended Barcelona's hopes of prising him away from Old Trafford this summer.

After a difficult first two seasons in Manchester following his £29m move from Athletic Bilbao, Herrera has enjoyed a superb campaign under Jose Mourinho last term. Relishing the responsibility of a deeper midfield role handed to him by his manager, he has provided some much needed steel in the middle of the park midfield alongside the guile of Paul Pogba, with his influence and leadership qualities thrown under the spotlight again in the club's 2-0 victory over Ajax in the Europa League final.

Prior to Ernesto Valverde's appointment at the Nou Camp this week, reports in Spain claimed the incoming Barcelona boss had made Herrera one of his early transfer targets.

Catalan daily Sport reported Valverde, who worked with the United midfielder during their time together at Athletic, had identified the 27-year-old as a more affordable alternative to Paris Saint-Germain's Marco Verratti or La Masia product Thiago Alcantara, who left the club for Bayern Munich in 2013.

But Herrera has firmly ended talk of a summer return to Spain, telling Sky Sports: "I'm very thankful with Manchester United because they came to Spain to sign me three years ago. The only thing I have in my mind every time I'm on the pitch is that I want to give all the affection back.

"I think that's the right way, I try to go to the pitch and to finish the game and I cannot complain to myself. I can say I have given everything, I don't want to stop, I am very optimistic and hardworking player.

"I want to keep playing, keep working hard, keep improving, not only personally but also with the club and the team, I want to keep improving to continue winning things. Of course I'm happy with my development and I am happy with my time at the club so far but I'm not going to stop here. I want to keep playing, keep improving, keep making our fans proud."

Barcelona appeared to suffer another setback in their efforts to strengthen their midfield this summer with Verratti revealing this week he expects to still be a Paris Saint-Germain player next season.