Manchester United are prepared to activate a one-year extension clause in Ander Herrera contract, if negotiations over a new deal continue to stall.
The midfielder moved to Old Trafford in 2014 for £30m from Athletic Bilbao after agreeing to a four year deal, but with his contract set to expire next summer United are becoming frustrated that he hasn't committed his future to the club on new terms.
With talks beginning last November, the club are well aware that Herrera will have the potential to talk with foreign suitors in January, which could lead to him leaving on a free transfer.
However, the Daily Mail report that United are aiming to prevent such an eventuality by activating his one-year extension option in his old deal.
United had to use the same tactic with Marouane Fellaini in January, whose contract is also set to expire next summer, and talks are ongoing after an opening offer was rejected.
However, this option may not be necessary with Herrera after his representatives stated he is settled at the club and that they are 'relaxed' about the current situation.
Despite being voted United's Player of the Year last season questions had been made over the midfielder's future prospects at the club after he lost out on his place to new arrival Nemanja Matic.
With Paul Pogba and Fellaini adding further competition in the centre of the park, Herrera has been given limited opportunity to play. However, he made a return to the side on Wednesday, partnering Matic in their 1-0 win over Benfica on Wednesday.
The doubt over his contract hasn't effected Herrera's game who was pleased with their result in the Champions League.
He said: "We have been solid, not only in the Champions League, but during the whole season. We have nine points and are in the best position possible, so we are very happy. Now, we still have two games at home which are important for us.
"We have to play against Benfica at home now and I think, with 12 points, we will be qualified which is very important."