The report in the Express states: ‘Ander Herrera has passed a medical and has flown to Manchester with the midfielder poised to become Louis Van Gaal’s first United signing.'
The news, whilst obviously good news for Manchester United, does throw doubt over the short-term and potentially long-term development of highly-rated England under-21 international Nick Powell.
After a strong start to the season, the 20-year-old explosive midfielder, who was described as an 'incredible talent' by former Wigan manager Owen Coyle, was touted with having a very realistic chance of becoming a first-team regular at Manchester United when he returned from his loan spell with the Latics.
After an indifferent second-half to the season however with Wigan, it was expected that the extremely talented midfielder would have to spend a season on-loan to a Premier League club before he would get his chance at Old Trafford, hence the interest from Swansea and Leicester City.
The arrival of Ander Herrera, who likes to drive forward and play in the same attacking areas as Powell, may throw a little doubt both over the former Crewe star’s short term development.
Herrera would naturally start in a deeper role, but his willingness to push forward means he is unlikely to be used in a holding role, and will compete in a more fluid formation and jostl for attacking prominence.
Herrera, who turns 25 in August, is still relatively young and will join the likes of Jesse Lingard (21); Adnan Januzaj (19); Wilfried Zaha (21); Juan Mata (26); Danny Welbeck (23) and Tom Lawrence (20) in what is a really young group of attacking players.
Powell turns 21 in March, faces huge competition for a first-team spot at Old Trafford already and without many of the current bunch looking like falling off the rails any time soon then it certainly ups the ante in terms of his challenge.
He will almost certainly have to go all out to impress on-loan, ideally to a Premier League side, next season to win a place in the first-team for the 2015-16 season, although a strong pre-season under Louis van Gaal could yet see him stake his claim to stay.