Wednesday Briefing: The future for Mata & Herrera
Juan Mata and Ander Herrera may be on opposing sides in Wednesday's Champions League tie between Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain, but they remain close friends from their time together at Old Trafford.
During an interview with UEFA, the pair were prepared to accept this could be the last time they face each other on the field, with Juan hoping for a repeat of the outcome in the French capital, when United won 2-1 with a late goal by Marcus Rashford.
However, they could come head-to-head as coaches. in the future, after hanging up their boots, even if clearly they both still have so much to give as players and more ambitions to realise.
“Listen, we’re already 31 or 32 years old,” explained Herrera.
“I’m not sure if we’ll ever meet again on the pitch.”
“Right, but we could meet as coaches, couldn't we? Old Trafford's bench would suit you really well.”
Ander's cheeky response?
“You still want to be my assistant, right?” Juan revealed:
“I'm doing my coaching course already.”
The conversation ended with Ander agreeing:
“Okay, okay. I like that.”
Mata, slightly the elder of the two at 32, was United's Player of the Month in September while Herrera was outstanding in last term's Champions League final, despite his side losing to Bayern Munich in the showpiece event.
They are both relishing the key game with qualification possible for the Reds with a positive result and PSG fighting to keep their hopes alive. However, Herrera is upset he will not get a chance to see the supporters who backed him so heartily during his time at Old Trafford.
“You always dream of those moments, especially in places where you’ve given it your all,” he said.
“For example, when we travelled to London to play Chelsea, I remember all the affection people had for you there. And I have the same feeling about Manchester, so I was really keen on saying thanks again to the people there for the five years we experienced together, but it won’t happen.”
Next up: PSG Gallery
The players look in good shape at a sunny Aon Training Complex, as attention turns to the Champions League.
WHAT'S HAPPENING TODAY?
United are preparing to face PSG in the Champions League, of course, and our matchday starts with another fascinating sit-down interview with the boss.
At 12:00 GMT, we will reveal the club's Player of the Month for November, after a poll was opened featuring nominees Bruno Fernandes, Fred and Harry Maguire.
The much-anticipated team news will drop at 18:45 GMT and you can see all of the reaction on MUTV, as the channel's live coverage starts at 18:55 GMT.
There are round-the-clock updates on the big game via ManUtd.com and our Official App, as ever, bringing you much closer to the action.
Make sure you return after the final whistle for exclusive reaction from the dressing room, plus the video highlights from midnight.
Watch Solskjaer and van de Beek's press conferenceVideo
WHAT HAPPENED YESTERDAY?
Essential previews for United v PSG and the month of December both went live in the morning, before we reported on the Ligue 1 side’s confirmed travelling squad for their trip to Manchester.
In his press conference, Solskjaer provided the latest updates on David De Gea, Alex Telles and Anthony Martial, and praised Edinson Cavani when quizzed on the in-form striker.
The boss also spoke about fellow Norwegian Erling Haaland breaking one of his goals records in Europe.
United Daily: Tuesday's newsVideo
Donny van de Beek spoke alongside Ole at the media briefing and the Dutchman is the player interview in Wednesday’s edition of United Review: you can read an extract of that Q&A here.
David De Gea revealed his choice Player of the Month and our Goal-of-the-Month shortlist was announced.
Finally, the Manchester United Foundation announced a new Christmas fundraising campaign that needs your support this Yuletide.
All in all, there’s plenty to catch up on!