Ander Herrera‘s Manchester United contract expires this coming summer, and according to reports in England, the club’s lack of urgency in resolving the situation is causing the 29-year-old to consider his future more heavily than he has recently.
The Spaniard joined from Athletic Bilbao in 2014 and signed a four year deal with an option for a fifth. That option was exercised last season, meaning the contract expires this summer. Herrera has been a vocal presence in the locker room, often speaking to the media in a positive manner, promoting his teammates and coaching staff.
According to English tabloid Metro, Herrera is frustrated that his contract situation has lagged to this point, and is now willing to listen to offers from other clubs, which he can accept starting in January.
It is very likely that this leak is a tactic on Herrera’s side to bring publicity to his contract situation, but the fact they feel the need to make this play still speaks to the current status of negotiations. The Metro reports that Herrera has intentionally not gone public with his wage demands to this point out of club loyalty, not wanting to upset the squad chemistry, but that he feels that has been taken for granted.
Manchester United has been particularly indecisive with a number of contract situations of late. Marouane Fellaini in particular faced a long and very public negotiation period before the club gave in to his wage demands, with manager Jose Mourinho publicly on the player’s side. It is possible that one could argue Herrera is more important to the club than Fellaini, but his age could be a factor in the club’s hesitancy. Herrera has also been used sparingly this season, making just one appearance of the club’s four matches and not even making the matchday squad for two of them.
Herrera is not the only Red Devil with a future in serious question. Fellow Spaniard Juan Mata has a deal set to expire this summer as well, with his one-year option also picked up in January. 33-year-old England international Ashley Young is another in the same situation, as is fellow Englishman Luke Shaw.
Chief Executive Ed Woodward has come under fire recently for Manchester United’s failure to recapture the dominance found under Sir Alex Ferguson. The club has not won the Premier League since Sir Alex retired in 2013, with Woodward mostly in control of roster construction since that time. Manchester United fans flew an airplane banner over Turf Moor prior to the club’s away win over Burnley on Sunday that read, “Ed Woodward: A specialist in failure.”