MANCHESTER, England — Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has said he will continue to pick Ander Herrera for the rest of the season despite the Spaniard nearing an Old Trafford exit.
Sources have told ESPN FC that the midfielder is expected to leave on a free transfer in the summer and is close to committing to Paris Saint-Germain.
Herrera is sidelined with a thigh injury — that Solskjaer speculated could have been caused by the uncertainty surrounding his future — but the Norwegian suggested the 29-year-old could still play a key role before May.
“Maybe the future might have been worrying him and that’s part of the reason he’s injured,” Solskjaer told a news conference on Friday. “Who knows? He doesn’t know.
“Hopefully he can be available for Chelsea or Manchester City but I’m not sure. He got another muscle injury.
“He loves to play and he’s not very happy when he can’t help his teammates. He is always giving his all, it doesn’t matter if it’s five weeks or five years on his contract.”
Herrera will miss West Ham’s visit to Old Trafford on Saturday along with Luke Shaw and Ashley Young, who are both suspended.
Marcos Rojo is likely to start at left-back after getting 45 minutes for the under-23s against West Brom and Matteo Darmian is fit to return. Nemanja Matic and Alexis Sanchez are also likely to sit out, although the Chile international has returned to training.
United, who have lost four of their last five games in all competitions, head to Barcelona on Tuesday looking to overturn a 1-0 deficit from the first leg.
Solskjaer has targeted 15 points from the final six Premier League games to finish in the top four but said he could rotate his squad against West Ham to have players fresh for the challenge at Camp Nou.
“I’ve still got options to rest one or two because there are games coming up and they’ll all play a part,” Solskjaer said. “We had players on the bench on Wednesday night like Jesse [Lingard and Anthony [Martial] who normally start games.
“There will be a couple of changes. Let’s see what we’ll decide on. I think if we get 15 we’ll be top three because in those games hopefully we’ll beat Chelsea but now it’s about West Ham and focusing on a good performance to give us three points.
“We want top three. Top four is also an aim if we don’t get 15 but we should aim for 15 points.”