Report: Barcelona monitoring Ander Herrera, recent form makes deal unlikely

Barcelona are reportedly pursuing Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera.

According to the Daily Mail, Barcelona have been closely monitoring Ander Herrera's situation at Manchester United as they seek a replacement for Xavi.

Xavi, 35, will bring an end to his glittering Barcelona career this summer, as he will join Qatari side Al-Sadd on a free transfer.

Replacing the midfield metronome will be a tough task for Barcelona, but it seems that they've already eyed up one possible candidate in Herrera.

The former Real Zaragoza midfielder, 25, left Athletic Bilbao for Old Trafford last summer, and was seen as the man to revolutionise United's previously ponderous midfield.

However, the Spaniard endured a slow start to life under Louis van Gaal, often finding himself on the bench before recently becoming a key part of the United side.

Yet after scoring twice against Aston Villa last weekend, Herrera is now beginning to show just why he was so highly rated in Spain - and is becoming an increasingly integral part of United's side.

That means that United are unlikely to sell Herrera despite Barcelona's alleged interest - and with the Catalan giants unable to buy any players until January 2016 after a transfer embargo, it looks like Herrera's form, coupled with Barca's wrongdoings, will make a deal virtually impossible.

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