Solskjaer: Herrera’s uncertain future could be affecting his fitness

Manchester United manager unsure whether or not midfielder will stay at Old Trafford

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has said he is unsure where midfielder Ander Herrera’s future lies. Photograph: Oli Scarff/AFP/Getty

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has said he is unsure where midfielder Ander Herrera’s future lies. Photograph: Oli Scarff/AFP/Getty

 

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is not sure where Ander Herrera’s future lies but the Manchester United manager has no doubt that the injured midfielder will continue to give his all regardless.

The 29-year-old was reportedly intending to stay at Old Trafford and sign a contract extension, only for a lack of communication to see the Spaniard plan to leave at the end of his deal.

Herrera is believed to have committed to Paris St Germain over another option during that period, although Solskjaer’s arrival brought up a renewed push from United to agree terms.

“He’s been working really hard to get fit from his injury that he sustained against Liverpool,” the Red Devils boss said. “Then he came back and he got a different one here in training because he’s been really putting a lot of work in.

“And unfortunately that’s come at a time where, as you say, there are contract talks but that’s ongoing, so I can’t really comment too much on how far they have come down the line and what he’s deciding.”

Given he said talks were ongoing, Solskjaer was asked whether there was hope that Herrera could still stay.

“Well, you have to ask him,” he said. “I don’t know how they’ve been the last few talks, but we’ve let him focus on his fitness as well.

“He loves to play and he’s not very happy when he can’t help his teammates and he’s always giving his all — it doesn’t matter if he’s got five years left of his contract or five weeks.”

Solskjaer did, though, rather bizarrely suggest that questions over the future could have had an impact on his fitness.

“Maybe the future might have been worrying him and maybe that’s part of the reason that he’s injured,” the United boss said. “Who knows?

“He doesn’t know because he got a different injury in training. Hopefully he can be available for around about Chelsea, City but I’m not sure because he got another muscle injury.”

Herrera is likely to be joined on the sidelines against West Ham on Saturday by Nemanja Matic, although the defensive midfielder is attempting to come back from illness.

Luke Shaw and Ashley Young are suspended but Matteo Darmian is available, while Marcos Rojo could well come in at left-back for his first start under Solskjaer.

Eric Bailly and Antonio Valencia also look set to miss out, so too Alexis Sanchez as he returns from an ankle injury. “He is training with us,” Solskjaer said of the Chile forward.

“He’s trained twice, trained today, I’m not sure if he’s going to be available. He’s injury free but not sure 100 per cent for tomorrow, maybe more likely for Barcelona game. Let’s see.”

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