Newly appointed manager Ernesto Valverde, who managed Herrera during his time with Athletic Bilbao, had pin-poined the Spaniard as his primary midfield target ahead of the transfer window.
However, it became immediately clear that the 27-year-old, winner of the Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year award back in May, would not consider a move elsewhere.
And according to Spanish outlet Sport, Valverde and Co have abandoned their pursuit of Herrera.
Spare a moment to acknowledge the bedraggled state of Barcelona’s transfer window. Not long ago they were signing Neymar, Luis Suarez and Ivan Rakitic; now they can’t even sign Paulinho. Yes, that Paulinho. They actually had a bid rejected for Paulinho. Their only other signing has been Gerard Deulofeu, who struggled for minutes at Everton.
I almost feel bad for them. There is much more joy in seeing Barcelona dominate the European stage through their sheer craft and dedication to the aesthetic beauty of the game than watching Madrid heartlessly storm to yet more silverware.
They should have known that, out of any United player, Herrera is the least likely to leave. He may be Basque, but he bleeds red.