Ander Herrera has lifted the lid on his reasons for leaving Manchester United in 2019, insisting he didn’t want to go but wasn’t shown love by the club.
The Spaniard was a fans’ favourite but left for Paris Saint-Germain after failing to agree on terms for a new contract – something he previously insisted he would have signed had the offer come sooner.
And now, in an interview with The Telegraph ahead of facing his old club in the Champions League this week, the 31-year-old has further explained his feelings, confirming the pain he felt at the way he was treated.
Ander Herrera has lifted the lid on the circumstances that led to his Manchester United exit
Herrera has admitted that he didn’t feel loved by United in the lead-up to his exit from the club
‘My intention was not to leave the club and I was happy there – as happy as I am now here,’ Herrera said. ‘It was not a secret. I was negotiating for more than one year but I expected more from the board after my third season at the club when I was player of the year. They didn’t come to me that summer; they didn’t even call me. And that was very painful for me because I had a feeling that I was giving everything.
‘In saying that I have a huge respect for [executive vice-chairman] Ed Woodward, a huge respect for the board. They have always treated me fantastically. I know they want the best for Manchester United but in football, in life and in every company in the world sometimes you don’t think the same way and I respect that.
‘If I see Ed I will give him a hug. We just had different opinions about Manchester United and, in my opinion, what the club should have done.
Despite his feelings, Herrera says he respects Ed Woodward (above) and would give him a hug
Herrera is set to face his old club Manchester United in the Champions League this week
‘I want to make sure everyone understands there is nothing personal at all. That’s life. But it’s true – after the third season when I was player of the year, when I had the respect and the love from the fans, I didn’t feel that love from the club.’
Since leaving for PSG, Herrera has already won four domestic trophies and reached the final of the Champions League.
United, meanwhile, are back in the Champions League themselves and face PSG this week – but have failed to properly mount a challenge for the Premier League title under the stewardship of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.