Athletic Bilbao have announced this morning that they have rejected an offer from Manchester United for Ander Herrera, less than 24 hours after the midfielder was thought to have undergone a medical at Carrington.
United were close to sign the 24-year-old midfielder 12 months, before the deal collapsed on deadline day when lawyers claiming to be operating on behalf of United in Bilbao turned out to be impostors, as Athletic insisted United did not come close to meet Herrera’s release clause.
Surprisingly, however, rumours linking the midfielder with a move to Old Trafford resurfaced this week, with the deal looking all but done after United had seemingly triggered Herrera’s buy-out close, which stands at £28m but will raise to £32m from July 1st.
However, while the Athletic Bilbao midfielder traveled to Manchester yesterday with his agent and was shown around Carrington ahead of his medical, as United hoped to announce his arrival before the end of the week, in a statement issued this morning, Atheltic firmly denied a deal had been agreed between the two clubs.
“Athletic want to announce that they have this week rejected an offer from Manchester United, of around 36m euros (£28.85million), for the transfer of the economic and federative rights of the player Ander Herrera,” said the Basque club.
It is rather odd for a club to publicly announce they have rejected an offer and it could well be that Athletic are simply trying to portray Herrera in as bad a light as possible by leaving him no choice but to force a move or, which could be much more plausible, the Basque club are simply trying to hold on their player until July 1st when they’ll pocket an extra £4m.
However, Ed Woodward being Ed Woodward, don’t be surprised if the whole deal falls apart.