Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera wants to return to Real Zaragoza before he retires.
The former Spain Under-23 international, who completed a £28.8 million move to United from Athletic Bilbao last summer, revealed his wish in an interview with Marca.
He also confirmed that he will be in attendance for Sunday’s play-off game between Zaragoza and Las Palmas, as his boyhood club attempt to secure promotion to La Liga.
When asked about Real Zaragoza, Herrera confirmed: "I have the hope of returning to play here."
While on the subject of this week’s play-off match, the tenacious midfielder added: "I am not going to be in a box. I will be in the stands waiting to see a triumph of Zaragoza. You always look at what is making the team."
Herrera's rise to stardom
The 25-year-old spent four years in Real Zaragoza’s youth ranks before making his debut for the ‘B’ team in 2008.
Following a season with the second-string side, he made his professional debut with Zaragoza in the Segunda and helped the club return to the top flight at the end of the same campaign.
Herrera’s burgeoning reputation continued to grow before he was signed by his home-town club Athletic Bilbao in 2011, who snapped up the talented midfielder for a modest €7.5 million.
It was at San Mames where he caught the eye of some of the world’s biggest clubs - including Manchester United, who failed to sign him in the summer of 2013 but landed him 12 months later after activating his release clause.
Herrera is an important player for United
Herrera struggled to get to grips with Louis van Gaal’s demands in the first half of the 2014-15 campaign, but flourished in the final months of the season.
The Spaniard finished the campaign with an impressive eight goals in 31 appearances - six of which came in the Premier League - and is expected to retain his place in Manchester United’s starting line-up next season regardless of who Van Gaal signs this summer.
Herrera has also been linked with Barcelona in recent months but for the time being it seems certain he’ll be staying with Manchester United, who will be competing in next season’s Champions League provided they advance through the final qualifying round.
So, while Herrera may already be thinking about his future plans, don’t expect to see him wearing the shirt of Real Zaragoza for a good few years yet.
Manchester United fans: will Ander Herrera be one of the first names on Louis van Gaal’s team-sheet next season? Have your say in the comments below!