Xherdan Shaqiri Switzerland
Switzerland playmaker Xherdan Shaqiri during a training sessionReuters

Manchester United  could land Xherdan Shaqiri without spending a single penny, and indeed earning some as well with a swap deal involving Ander Herrera going the other way to Bayern Munich being reported.

Herrera, after initially finding himself constantly in the starting lineup under Louis Van Gaal, has failed to make his mark since and has been linked with a move away from Manchester United.

The Spanish midfielder only made his move to Old Trafford in the summer, but with Van Gaal expected to beef up his midfield resources in the January transfer window, or at the most next summer, Herrera could fall further down the pecking order.

Bayern Munich could offer Herrera a way out of Manchester United, with the German club's manager Pep Guardiola reported a big fan of the midfielder.

According to the Daily Express, Manchester United will ask Bayern for £21 million for the sale of Herrera, and with Shaqiri rated in the £15-18 million bracket, Manchester United could end up making a profit from the swap deal.

However, problems do lie in this particular swap move. One, Bayern Munich, even if they have been weighed down by injuries, have an embarrassment of riches in midfield, and it is unlikely that Herrera will be able to command a starting position at the German side.

Also, it is unlikely that Manchester United will be ready to take a loss on Herrera, who joined the English Premier League club from Athletic Bilbao for nearly £30 million.

Even if Herrera has failed to hit the heights at Manchester United, it is unlikely that the club will be ready to take a loss on the player, just six months after bringing him to Old Trafford.

While a transfer for Shaqiri is a likely scenario, with the Switzerland international expected to leave Bayern Munich in the January transfer window, Manchester United letting Herrera go for £21 million does seem unlikely.