Ander Herrera has nothing but respect for Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward despite admitting he left because he didn’t feel loved by the club.
Herrera departed United for Paris Saint-Germain in July 2019 after his contract at Old Trafford expired.
The Spaniard is held in high regard by United supporters having helped the club win the FA Cup and League Cup as well as delivering a man-of-the-match performance in the Europa League final win against Ajax under Jose Mourinho.
Herrera was named United’s Player of the Season for the 2016/17 campaign and expected talks to begin over extending his contract over the folowing year but was surprised by the lack of contact from the board.
“My intention was not to leave the club and I was happy there- as happy as I am now here,” he told The Telegraph. “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.”
With the two parties unable to come to an agreement over new terms, Herrera ran down his contract and moved to France for nothing.
Despite admitting he did not feel loved, Herrera stressed he has a huge amount of respect for Woodward.
He added: “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.
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“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. 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.”