Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has no doubts over Ander Herrera’s immediate commitment to Manchester United as the Spain midfielder is strongly linked with a move to Paris Saint-Germain.
Herrera has only featured twice for United since suffering a hamstring injury in February’s goalless draw against Liverpool – a setback compounded by him sustaining a thigh problem during training last week.
It means the 29-year-old will be sidelined once more for West Ham’s visit to Old Trafford on Saturday, while speculation is mounting that Herrera will leave United after five years to join PSG on a free transfer when his contract expires at the end of this season.
Talks over an extension with the Premier League club remain ongoing, but Herrera told Diario ABC this week that he and United “do not think the same” at this stage of the negotiations.
“He’s been putting a lot of work in. Unfortunately, that’s come at a time when there’s contract talks, but that’s ongoing so I can’t really comment too much on how far they’ve gone down the line and what he’s decided,” Solskjaer told a pre-match news conference.
“You have to ask him. I don’t know how they’ve been in the last few talks. We’ve let him focus on his fitness as well.
“He loves to play, so he’s not very happy when he can’t help his team-mates. He’s always giving his all – it doesn’t matter if he’s got five years left on his contract or five weeks.”
In spite of the disappointing result last night, I am happy to be back on the pitch and to reach my 400th official game pic.twitter.com/HnkOTD7rGk
— Ander Herrera (@AnderHerrera) March 17, 2019
Solskjaer suggested the off-field distraction might have hindered Herrera’s bid for a return to full fitness, with United’s final two Premier League games of this month against Manchester City and Chelsea now set as a tentative return target.
“Maybe the future might have been worrying him and maybe that’s part of the reason he’s injured. Who knows?” he said.
“He doesn’t know because he got an injury in training. Hopefully he can be ready for Chelsea or City but I’m not sure because he got another muscle injury.”
Alexis Sanchez has been fighting a longer-term fitness battle and is likely to remain out this weekend despite returning to training, while Solskjaer will make a late call on Nemanja Matic.
The defensive midfielder has been struggling with illness and trained separately from the rest of the squad on Thursday.
“We doubt Nemanja will be ready because of his illness. He is a warrior and wants to help his team-mates,” Solskjaer added.
“[Sanchez] is training with us. I’m not sure if he’s going to be available. He’s injury free but I’m not sure if he’s 100 per cent ready.”
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