Why Pachuca accept Man Utd will take their star Hector Herrera

The powerbrokers at Pachuca know Hector Herrera's time in Mexico is coming to an end.
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The powerbrokers at Pachuca know Hector Herrera's time in Mexico is coming to an end.

Even if knee surgery has thwarted a move to England this week, it is only delaying the inevitable with the January transfer window now slated for Herrera to leave for the Premier League.

Last week, Pachuca held a presentation honouring Herrera and teammates Néstor Vidrio and Oribe Peralta for their gold medal victory at the London Olympics. But for those inside the stadium, it felt more like a farewell ceremony, with fans well aware of Manchester United's interest in Herrera and Bundesliga clubs chasing striker Peralta.

Certainly, new Pachuca coach Hugo Sanchez, the Real Madrid legend, says Herrera is ready for the jump to Europe.

Asked if he believed Herrera could handle a move to United, Sanchez was adamant: "I think so, for his youth, quality and talent, he has enough to succeed with any team in Europe.

"He would need time to adapt and I would hope he is granted that - but it would also be up to him as to how hard he works to adjust to a new environment."

The latest buzz in Mexico is that United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is happy to wait until January to sign Herrera, with the midfielder still recovering from surgery.

"I haven't discussed this with the directors," continued Sanchez. "I don't know anything about that.

"Hector hopefully will recover soon and I'll be able to play him. As far as his transfer, I don't know anything about that."

For all of Sanchez's protests, it's no secret United are eager to bring Herrera to Old Trafford. Before the Olympics, he was watched in Toulon, where he emerged as the player of the tournament and then trained in front of Ferguson and his coaching staff as Mexico made use of United's facilities.

Pachuca vice-president Andres Fassi is in no doubt United want Herrera.

"They just need to make a formal offer," he said last week.

"The department which monitored his trials are very meticulous. They've asked us for all sorts of data. We've given them various reports and analysis and now are waiting on their response.

"They're taking their time - and we respect that. We're not in any rush and this doesn't have to happen immediately. We can wait."

A genuine box-to-box midfielder, Herrera, dubbed 'El Zorrillo' or 'The Skunk' in Mexico, can play through the middle and also on the flank and had a big influence on Mexico's gold medal glory in England.

"He's a player who has experienced a stunning rise," says Fassi. "He's a great advertisement for Mexican football and Pachuca."

Despite his youth, Fassi feels now is the right time for Herrera to be sold.

"I think this has been well earned, he's a boy who has grown slowly, it's taken many years training at this institution.

"He is a player who, it is no coincidence, was the best in Toulon, a revelation in the last season here and one of the best players in the Olympics team.

"He has always been improving and is the most important talent that has been in Mexico in recent years.

"Together with a great personality and character, this is a player who is regarded very, very highly.

"He's a different player, has an extraordinary aerobic capacity and great footballing ability. This makes him something a little different, a lot of teams would like a player like this."

For the player, himself, Herrera admits it's been a whirlwind few months. The interest of Ferguson has taken him aback, but he feels he can handle such a step up if United do move for him.

"I've always dreamed of going to Europe, but didn't expect it to happen so soon. I've only established my career in the last year and I really didn't expect a club the size of Manchester United to be following me so soon.

"But I know the hard work and sacrifices I've made to reach this level. It would be an incredible opportunity."

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