Back in the summer, amidst all the rumours linking Manchester United with moves for Barcelona pair Cesc Fabregas and Thiago Alcantara, another Spanish-based player was heavily tipped for a move to Old Trafford.
Ander Herrera was making waves in La Liga for Athletic Bilbao, to such an extent that David Moyes was tipped to bring the player with a €36million release-clause in as a potential midfield saviour.
But in the end – after some very peculiar stories surrounding third parties and changes of mind in the final moments of the summer transfer window – Herrera remained exactly where he was.
And after a dip in form and a spell on the bench in the immediate aftermath of those rumours, the 24-year-old is back to somewhere near his best – just in time for a new transfer rumour.
Because according to reports in Spain, Liverpool are now considering the player as a long-term replacement for Steven Gerrard.
Spanish website Fichajes.net claims Brendan Rodgers’ side is considering their options for when Gerrard hangs up his boots (which surely won’t be anytime soon considering his ongoing good form).
But the report claims Liverpool could make a move for Herrera as soon as this summer, which would make sense given their need for strength in depth with Champions League football all but secured next season.
Bilbao have already shown that they do not negotiate down when it comes to release-clauses, so if the Reds really do want the player, they will have to pay a sizeable fee for his services.
But if they can do what United did not, and bring in one of Spain’s most exciting young talents, it will be yet another blow for David Moyes, and another success for the increasingly impressive Rodgers.