The Catalan giants are aware that they may need to strengthen their midfield options next summer and are keeping tabs on several schemes across the Continent.

One of the names on their shortlist is Ander Herrera, who has struggled to nail down a regular first-team place at Old Trafford since joining from Athletic Bilbao in 2014.

After the departure of Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta’s advancing years and Sergio Busquets and Javier Mascherano’s perceived inability to play as a double pivot means La Blaugrana are also keen on bolstering their central midfield options, having initially focused on adding wingers to their squad.

The 26-year-old, Manchester united midfielder Ander Herrera has scored one goal in four appearances in the English Premier League and has one appearance in the Champions League.

Herrera and Gundogan are understood to be Barca’s joint top targets, alongside Paul Pogba, Marco Verratti, Lars Bender and wonder kids Riechedly Bazoer and Youri Tielemans of Ajax and Anderlecht respectively.

 

Elsewhere, Herrera’s rise to prominence at United has prompted Barca’s hand, more so given the 26-year-old has the same agent as Gerard Pique.

The former Real Zaragoza and Athletic Bilbao man arrived at Old Trafford for €36m in the summer of 2014, making it likely that only a significantly higher fee would be enough to push through with talks.

This summer, there were suggestions that Louis van Gaal had tried making a swoop for Rues on Transfer deadline day.

It looks as if this is yet another one of those long, drawn-out transfer sagas. With Barcelona still under a ban by FIFA and not able to make any transfers, it will be a long time before they make a move for Rues and Andre Herrera.

Barcelona also targets the German international Ilkay Gundogan,24  was reportedly close to joining Barcelona last year, only for his serious back injury, the doctors reassessed the player in a positive light.

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