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United given the elboa once more as yet another bid gets rejected

Ander Herrera BilbaoThis report is taken from regarding a bid made by United for Atletico Bilbao midfielder Ander Herrera.

Athletic Bilbao say they have turned down an offer from Manchester United for midfielder Ander Herrera.

Club president Josu Urrutia claims a firm bid for the 24-year-old was lodged on Thursday and immediately dismissed.

And Urrutia says the only way Herrera will leave the club is if he demands a move and his release clause – reported to be £30.75m – is met.

Speaking at a press conference, reported on Athletic’s Twitter feed on Friday, he said: “We have had an offer for Ander Herrera. Our club is different, it is based on sentiment. Our objective isn’t to make money.

“We received the offer last night and have communicated that we will not negotiate for our players.

“For a player to go, first the player must express his desire to leave the club and pay the release clause.”

David Moyes, asked about Herrera at his press conference ahead of Sunday’s game against Liverpool, was not prepared to name United’s targets.

He said: “We would try not to disclose our bids, if that’s possible. We would just let the clubs deal with it and try to do it in the professional manner.”

Here’s how one of our regular readers (tonymontanna4united) suggests the conversation between United and Bilbao is likely to pan-out……

Woodward: That Herrera guy looks good. Lets make a bid. Would £25m do it?

Bilbao: Thanks for your bid, but it’s not enough. He has a release clause of £30m. Meet that and he’s yours.

Woodward: Ok, well we need to go away and assess our finances and think things over, but we’ll be back.

(Transfer deadline day)

Woodward: Hi, me again, so will £25m do it?

Bilbao: No, as we said before £30m and no less. Stop wasting our time.

Woodward: Ok last offer, £29m take it or leave it.

Bilbao: Goodbye Mr Woodward.

Woodward on 3rd September: We looked at a few players but we’re happy with what we’ve got, there’s no value in the market blah blah blah


United really aren’t doing themselves any favours are they, more worryingly, they’re beginning to look like they’re panicking.



  1. evil

    August 30, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    moyes and woodward fuck off from man utd losers!!!!!!!!!!!!! 😈

    • a new dawn

      August 31, 2013 at 10:14 am

      @evil: u fuck off

  2. colver

    August 30, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    Yeah at this stage of the transfer window it is ridiculous to quibble over £5M. If you look at other deals in this transfer market £30M sounds like fair value for a promising young midfielder. If players like Mata, Silva and Santa Cazoria, Alonso and Fabregas are anything to go on, Spanish midfielders usually do pretty well in the Premiership and this guy could be a natural replacement for Scholes.

  3. red astair

    August 30, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    The Chelsea – Rooney saga highlights one very key point. It’s the selling club that holds the aces. If the selling club doesn’t want to sell, it won’t. If the selling club doesn’t want to sell but there is a buyout clause, the buyout clause must be met, or the club won’t sell. This seems to be the case in point, so I can’t understand why Woodward bid lower than the asking price. It doesn’t show that he’s being clever or shrewd, quite the opposite. It seems he has no understanding of a basic concept, which is a little mystifying when he uses a similar concept in his refusal to sell Rooney to Chelsea. It really doesn’t matter whether you want to label this behaviour as hypocrisy or stupidity, whatever, we still don’t have the player and unless he has a serious rethink about his tactics on transfers the likliehood of Utd securing any new signings is remote. There is still talent out there, despite Spurs’ attempt at buying just about everyone available, but time is no longer on Utd’s side, brinkmanship is no longer a weapon that can be used. Over the next 3 days we will see just how motivated Woodward is, or that he had little or no intent of buying anyone. Some time ago, I read an article claiming SAF’s new contract was salary + commission. The less he spent in the transfer window the more profit Utd made and the higher his commission. Now, I have no idea whether this is the truth or just libellous BS and now it’s all in the past, don’t frankly care. However, if there is truth in it and Woodward is on a similar deal, well it might explain a few things, a focus on sponsorship rather than new players, for example. Edward Gibbon, author of the decline and fall of the Roman empire, once made a very profound statement ” all that is human must retrograde if it does not advance” which basically means if you’re not
    going forward you’re going backwards. Utd need certain positions filled by better players than we curently have, without this Utd won’t move forward, therefore we’ll sink backwards. Allowing this to happen is a betrayal to all that is Utd, the club, the fans and now all the new sponsors that were no doubt promised such great things. The next few days sees Woodward’s reputation on the line, and if it is found wanting, it will taint the Glazers and by association, Moyes. I really hope that Woodward proves me wrong and pulls off something, it doesn’t have to be earth shattering, just something that has Utd moving in the right direction, players that will make a difference and take us forward into a new era. The ball is in your court Mr Woodward, stop your game playing and start doing your job.

    • The red baron

      August 30, 2013 at 8:19 pm

      @red astair: problem is he’s giving every indication how to do his job regarding recruitment.

  4. Opti

    August 30, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    Real world when deadlines/expiration dates loom:
    — Baked goods go stale, and become cheaper
    — Fish goes bad and becomes cheaper.
    — Good players become more expensive.

    The question for Woodward is then: are you buying baked good, fish, or good players. Bid accordingly.


    • toshe

      August 31, 2013 at 7:16 pm

      @Opti: hahhaa,this one was good

  5. red_ash

    August 30, 2013 at 5:57 pm

    Moyes and Woodward are acting like fish out of water. They are not sure what they are upto and there is no conviction.

    This whole idea of replacing fergie with Moyes for longevity is pure B.S. and should be rolled back. Firstly, there is no one who can replace fergie as he is the last one of his ilk. We should have a philosophy like Bayern Munich where they have a core of ex-greats, ex-managers and coaches for stability and the managers just change. They recruit winners for managers and not a coach who in ~16 years of management has won a total of 0 trophies.

    • BazzetheRed

      August 31, 2013 at 2:35 pm

      @red_ash: A lot of sense in this I think. The notion that Moyes is Fergie Mark 2 is, I suspect, sentimental hogwash or simply a snow job. Fergie was one of a kind, just like Busby, Shankly, Stein, etc.: men who made (in Fergie’s case, remade) a club in their own image, in circumstances that (in Fergie’s case, initially) bore no comparison to the world of contemporary elite football. As MUFC (NB that “FC” please) we naturally want to believe that we have seamlessly shifted into a “Moyes era” that will last 20 years and see the club remain on the heights on the last 2 decades…but common sense suggests it won’t and can’t be so. No need to rehearse the arguments around Moyes’ qualifications or otherwise for the post – but nothing in his CV so far suggests he is the force of nature that Fergoe had already proven himself to be by breaking the Glasgow duopoly at Aberdeen in the early 80s.

      The Bayern Munich philosophy is hugely appealing – the idea of a cadre of great ex-players, club men who play different roles a different times at the club from president to coach…

      …but back in the real world – such a model entails community roots, continuity, long-term vision, principle…none of which, sadly, our great club currently possesses. If we did we would have appointed Ole Gunnar Solksjaer as our *real* continuity candidate (who, incidentally, has won two league championships more than DM)…

  6. BigRed

    August 30, 2013 at 6:18 pm

    This is hardly a panic bid.
    Fergie tried after Bilbao schooled us in the CL a few back. Would be a much better option that the hairy one at Everton.
    Herrera has a much better footballing pedigree and if we can crack this one, I for one would be happy.

  7. bumdel

    August 30, 2013 at 6:19 pm

    Hi all.

    I come in peace after a very long time. It still surprises me that some United fans are still optimistic about our club signing someone in this transfer window. The bitter truth is that United will not sign any needed player.

    It did not start today. Two seasons ago when we suffered from our lack of depth in the midfield, Scholes was called back. I remember Vieira saying Scholes comeback means there is problem at United. Till date, the problem still persist but not to worry, Scholes will come back in January. I am not happy to say this but that is what I am sure will happen. PRINT THAT.

    • Redrich

      August 31, 2013 at 4:54 am

      @bumdel: Scholes ain’t coming back mate, but I agree with sentiment. Run the old bessy into the ground before spending a penny to fix her! 😥 😥

  8. mich

    August 30, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    Danm!! Let’s get this man(herrera) he’s good for our squad, he’s the kind of man we need not fellani, I see his future very bright and successful in united, why are we negotiating, this buy out claus is enough for us to snatch the snatch the boy,,,,pla moyes get this man for us

  9. Opti

    August 30, 2013 at 6:26 pm

    United bids 12 million for Roma’s CM Rossi. I like it but only as a short-term solution to effectively replace Scholes (who can!) and pass on experience to younger guys (Januzxczxc). This guy is total quality, but I don’t know of his fitness levels….

    Liverpool close to signing Mo Sakho… who is an FM09 monster (!!) but has faded in the gold-rush at PSG. Could be a genial signing!!

    • Opti

      August 30, 2013 at 6:59 pm

      @Opti: I meant: (who can?)

  10. mich

    August 30, 2013 at 6:28 pm

    Think of how far we are going to go this season, is it something we are going to do without a play maker? (UEFA, EPL, FAcup…)Come on we need him double, don’t split our opportunity

  11. ben

    August 30, 2013 at 6:41 pm

    For all the commercial deals United had, they cant pay for the fees required to buy a player. We need a better Chief Executive.

  12. Sahal

    August 30, 2013 at 7:43 pm

    Saw a couple of reports that we’d also approached Daniele De Rossi,I admire that Moyes has identified our problem and is trying to solve it.Just very irritating that this wasn’t done in the first few weeks

  13. The red baron

    August 30, 2013 at 8:15 pm

    We’re actually taking comedy hour to a hole new level. I’m100% convinced woodenhead is dyslexic. He certainly can’t read (or even understand the meaning) Escape Clause.just a penny pinching knobhead of an accountant who’s making Mufc the laughing stock of football with this transfer policy. Shame on you. 😥

  14. Everton

    August 30, 2013 at 9:19 pm

    One would think that by now,Woodward would have learnt to act fast and act accordingly.Obviously that is not the case.I’m sorry to say it,but Cleverley is never going to be a capable replaacement for the Ginger Prince.At best,he can become a usefull squad player.we need a quality central midfielder who can act as a catalyst for our attacking play.Herrera is one of the handfull of young,up-and-coming european players who have the potential to fill the void.why try and save 5 Million pounds when that is all his club want on top of the offer United has already made?Every other week we read of a new sponsor signing up with United and paying us to be associated with them.where is all the money going?it sure as hell isn’t going where it should!

    • Grognard

      August 31, 2013 at 5:46 am

      @Everton: There is one thing that has yet to be answered or confirmed. Does Herrera fancy a move to OT. As he is Spanish, I wouldn’t be surprised if we met the release clause only to have him refuse to leave. But I don’t think Woodward will ever risk trying to find the answer.

  15. The red baron

    August 30, 2013 at 9:44 pm

    At moyes’ s next press conference, I’d love nothing more than if a journalist would put moyes on the spot and ask him why utd find it so hard to close a deal yet near enough every other club doesn’t seem to be having that problem. Id be more than curious to see what excuse he’d have.

    • Opti

      August 30, 2013 at 9:55 pm

      @The red baron: “Tough market”, “World Cup year”, “Season of large transfer fees (aka Silly season)”… “team is strong and won the league last year”…

      • The red baron

        August 30, 2013 at 10:10 pm

        @Opti:moyes:” I can’t honestly tell you why, you’d better ask ed, he’s in charge of negotiations”.the answer you won’t hear. (Meanwhile Woodward’s creeping out the back door of the press conference! )

      • BigRed

        August 30, 2013 at 11:11 pm

        Don’t forget his favourite..”I only joined the club on the first of July…”

    • Redrich

      August 31, 2013 at 4:44 am

      @The red baron: What makes you think that Moyes has any control over this. Is he the one negotiating these deals? Is he the one that that signs off and then writes the check? I think not! What he has done is to identify targets that could benefit the team. It was then, clearly up to the money-men to go get them for him.
      If I was Moyes I’d think that I’d just married the wrong girl!!

      • The red baron

        August 31, 2013 at 10:12 am

        @Redrich: Even though Woodward will be negotiating these deals, you can’t say moyes is blameless in this transfer saga.He’s the one who identified fabregas as a target and sent us on that wild goose chase. Seemed virtually everyone thought it would be near impossible deal to pull off. My point is why is moyes identifying that are just so hard to land. There’s been more than enough high quality talent available, yet we just try to make things so hard for ourselves. I do believe Woodward is the culprit in all this. But moyes hasn’t covered his self in glory either.

  16. colver

    August 30, 2013 at 11:59 pm

    Why not buy De Rossi and Herrera? I am sure we could get the pair for £40 to £50 million.

    With Scholes retired, Carrick well into his thirties, Giggs moving into a coaching role, and Fletcher uncertain to ever return we need at least two experienced central midfielders.

    • Redrich

      August 31, 2013 at 4:17 am

      @colver: Makes way too much sense, mate.
      Why would we reinforce the MF when the only thing that we would reinforce is the Glazer fortune.
      I’m sorry if this upsets anyone here, but I truly believe that this shambolic attempt to sign players has it’s roots in a corporate decision to minimize expenses.
      So the attitude is “fuck you, United fans, because you will always follow and you will always beckon to the call, and hehehe, we will always do exactly as we chose with the money you spend on us.
      I’m not sure there is another explanation – and if there is can someone please explain it to me.

  17. Jay Wire

    August 31, 2013 at 5:12 am

    We are not signing any one of these players. Herrera is Basque and they can only replace him with a player from the same region within 2 days. We were clearly never intent on this one. It’s a definite no brainer that I can figure out typing in my bed as I’m doing right now. We are not going to sign a single player and everyone knows it. De Rossi is a player I always mentioned as a realistic but quality signing from day one. It always seemed possible,cheap and he was openly and willing to move when last season ended but we never went in for him. Why do we have to ask Capello about him? Any idiot with occasional access to football will tell you De Rossi is a no brainer. It’s like asking Benitez ” Mr Benitez,there’s a player called Xabi Alonso,that you once managed and we are looking at him.Can you please inform us of his qualities and do you think he can be a good fit at our club. Thank you sir,hopefully you can get back to us before Monday.” Why is Moyes and Woodward treating us like idiots? It was always less controversial to say right from the beginning ” The squad we have is sufficient going into the new season and we are not really looking to add much to it. ” It would have been controversial but less contentious. Now we are just being insulted daily for no good reason. Getting Fellaini,De Rossi,Hererra,Thiago were all relatively easy situations with at least three of them willing to go. Very sinple situations at very affordable rates. Had we gone for any if them in June or even early July, the situation would have been resolved for less than £50m for at least two quality midfielders. So don’t try to fool anyone Moyes. We can all know a simple thing when we see one and getting these players was always simple. Even if we get anyone, Moyes and Woodward have taken enough steps to infuriate and frustrate the fans who were clearly willing to back the manager 100%,so they deserve all the pressure that’s coming. If fans start booing, I won’t even be sympathetic because it’s adequate recompense. They deserve it. Fortunately it all ends definitively on Monday and that’s at most about 60 or so hours. That’s when all the focus of the will be on the manager and there should be no mercy at all. We should demand the title and a very decent run right to the last stages of the Champions League at the very least. I’m talking at least semis,because they refused to do the simple things and declared that the current squad is good enough so we should all demand the usual Manchester United objectives. No mercy from my end and I hope all the fans and media will be uncompromising as well. They deserve it.

    • Redrich

      August 31, 2013 at 6:25 am

      @Jay Wire: For the very first time I find myself agreeing and believing you. Di Rossi is a sign of desperation. Amending our team with a 30 year old is a sign of desperate measures.
      Ferguson sold it to us so that it was believable, and he made good on his “team good enough” claims – it was always hard to argue with that. Moyes is not a salesman nor does he have the unadulterated ear of the United support and nor does he have a midfield. He has inherited a legacy that will be impossible to continue – and with every failed signing, he is laden with nothing more than the remains of the Ferguson Empire.
      As much as I like the man, his tenure (which is not in his hands) will be much shorter than his 6 year contract. The powers that be are conspiring against him do it because their agenda is so much different than his (and ours)!

      • The red baron

        August 31, 2013 at 10:44 am

        @Redrich: Why would the powers that be, be conspiring against him? It’s self defeating. No top manager would go near the utd job if it appears they want rid.Yeah, I do believe this is all about keeping the glazer wallets well padded, but one thing they’re not, even though it pains me to say it because I hate what they’ve done to this club, is that they’re stupid. They’re not gonna commit commercial suicide by trying to oust him.Only if results went disastrously wrong this season would that scenario come into thinking.

    • The red baron

      August 31, 2013 at 11:26 am

      @Jay Wire: de Rossi stated some time ago, the idea of playing and living would be an interesting proposition. Big difference between Manchester and London to an outsider.

      • The red baron

        August 31, 2013 at 11:32 am

        @The red baron: that comment was fucked up! .In an interview de Rossi stated the idea of living and playing in London appealed to him. Big difference between London and Manchester to an outsider.

  18. Jay Wire

    August 31, 2013 at 5:33 am

    I know this is controversial to say, but it’s kinda like World Police in Washington saying “We know Assad used chemical weapons on innocent people because we know. Take our word for it. We know. The question is what are we going to to do about it”. Duh. Everyone knows what you are going to do. We all know you won’t respect anyone opposed to it and just don’t care. I think it’s the same attitude we are experiencing as fans. “We know this squad finshed 9 points clear. We know,the areas we need to improve and it’s both fullback positions. We know Ryan Giggs and Rooney can play in the middle. Frankly we don’t care what any one of you think,we will do what the heck we want”. They could not have hoped for a more infuriating time to take this stance and arrogant attitude.

  19. redmanc

    August 31, 2013 at 7:15 am

    I think Moyes should get scholes out of retirement again. This can be the only feasible quality addition to the squad. Would Ozil want to play for Moyes? I don’t think so.

    If I was a good player I would jump at a chance to sign for a club like Man Utd . But today the big players have reservations because of our incompetent leadership. We cannot afford to slip up, this is not 80’s and early 90’s where any sub-par team can have a miracle season and fight for championship. If we start slipping up and have incompetent leadership we will end up like Liverpool, Aston Villa and Arsenal soon.

  20. Stephen

    August 31, 2013 at 9:39 am

    We are not signing any one of these players. Herrera is Basque and they can only replace him with a player from the same region within 2 days.
    Jay, he has a buy out clause if we pay it they have no choice.
    Why are people do negative? If we didn’t bid for player some would moan, now we do people still moan.

    • Grognard

      August 31, 2013 at 9:43 am

      @Stephen: The bids lack sincerity mate. Bid for somebody they can get for a change. And there were plenty of players out there only for them to be bought by others while United brass sat home did nothing but drink tea.

    • Jay Wire

      August 31, 2013 at 12:16 pm

      @Stephen: Why so negative? More like being wiser now. If getting Herrera was as simple as activating his release clause,which it is theoretically,don’t you think we could have done that a long time ago? Why is it taking so long to do simple things? Are we in all honesty the world’s most unfortunate football club? We seem to be the only club unable to acquire a single player even in the simplest of circumstances. Spurs for instance simply wake up in the morning and say let’s get Eriksen and within 48hrs he is being announced on their website. Every other club apart from United and Arsenal,seems to be able to acquire the players they need. Tottenham had their Willian deal hijacked and in less than a week they sign an alternative. So please forgive me for being negative,because I believe if the only issue was the so called activation of a release clause,we could have signed Thiago, Herrera and Fellaini with great ease because all three had such stipulations in their contracts. And I’m not even thinking if we did sign a player it would all be fine. We are already 3 weeks into the season and when do we expect the most important acquisition of our season to get in the groove of things. It’s all poor planning and inexcusable failure on management’s part and they have set the appropiate stage themselves for ridicule and extraordinary levels of scrutiny from both the fans and the media. Apart from the Rooney saga,nothing has been handled well and in fact everything has been handled in the worst possible way. If you choose to be positive and whatever that’s your choice. I’m upset about all this and so are many other people. You have to admit,when it has mattered, the United fans have been tremendous. Showcasing excellent class. Shouting Moyes name, shouting Rooney’s name and being a formidable wall blocking all the external storms by supporting the team. We don’t deserve to be treated like a bunch of idiotic circus monkeys. I’m just saying

  21. colver

    August 31, 2013 at 11:07 am

    Yeah Jay Wire, if he has a release clause all we have to do is meet it. Bayern had no trouble whisking Javi Martinez away even if arguably they had to pay over the odds. Plus Athletic is a selling club and then tend to promote from within their ranks. And while the player may not wish to move away from Spain, we can double his salary and money talks.

    I agree with you. De Rossi is a no brainer. We have a fantastic recent tradition of extending the lives of midfielders and rotating them wisely to add quality and experience in the big games. De Rossi has ample Champions League experience and would fit us like a glove.

    What I do not understand is why we have left it so late to purse these REALISTIC transfer targets and are now haggling over the fee with days of the transfer window left.

    The story the press is putting out is that Moyes sees Herrera as a good alternative to Fabregas. But we should have realized weeks ago that Fabregas wasn’t going to join us and wrapped up this deal for Herrera.

    Well I guess we can still sign him in January.

    But I just hate this vacillating. Look at Tottenham. They show how quickly you can move if you decide you want a player, agree a price and wrap up the deal.

    We seem to flit between targets. One minute we are after Fabregas. Then we are submitting double bids for Baines and Fellaini. And now seemingly out of nowhere we are after De Rossi and Herrera. And no doubt we will get another bid for Baines and Fellaini rejected on deadline day.

    Ferguson operated under the same sort of constraints and often got rejected by players who dreamed instead of Spain. But when he wanted a player he was dogged in his pursuit and made the deals happen. And he never went into this pathetic charade of submitting multiple bids all well below the asking price.

    If Moyes and Woodward are trying to prove they are out of their depth they are doing a very good job.

  22. Stephen

    August 31, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    Jay, surely you must understand that we have a new manager and chief executive. We have had a manager for 26 years and David Gill. We are in transition, Moyes is finding his feet which will take time.
    When have Spurs ever been the bench mark in transfer activity. They are new money and acting like it, for me this is the exception in the rule.
    Open your eyes, Spurs and Unites are in unique sitautions this summer.

    • Jay Wire

      August 31, 2013 at 2:31 pm

      @Stephen: What is unique about meeting the release price? It applies to everyone. You meet it and the club release the player. Spurs and United are two different clubs obviously but the market is the same. The rules are the same. What new money are you talking about. The amount Spurs have spent so far is actually more than they will get from Rea so it’s really spending fuelled by ambitiion. My point in bringinf them up was simply that they seem to be acquiring players at will,most of them for under €30m. So why is it so hard for United to simply get at least one player? Is it because Moyes came to United two months ago? Or Woodward also just being appointed? Nonsense. Woodward has been working with United for a very long time now. It’s just that he has been appointed CEO but he has inside knowledge of the club administratively and financially. Besides,he seems quite competent at securing multiple sponsorships and commercial partnerships but can’t acquire a single player. I was really sympathetic to Moyes cause but he seems to always open his mouth to say the wrong thing. Why not say ” we are looking into some players and hope to make acquisitions. But we will only comment on finalsed deals. ” Keep at it and stop embarrassing the club with comical PR disasters. To hide your head. in the sand and pretend this so called transition hasn’t been a disaster,is an incredible stance to take.

      • BazzetheRed

        August 31, 2013 at 2:46 pm

        @Jay Wire: Agree. To argue that Woodenhead and DM are babes in the wood who can’t be expected to cope with the travails of negotiating purchases at the elite level is an insult to the collective intelligence of MUFC fans.

        To reiterate a point often enough made: how much footballing acumen does it take to realise that United need at least 1, preferably 2 ball-winning, ball-playing midfielders? If these players are to perform effectively *this season* (not 3 seasons from now) in the CL, how long should it take either of these gents, who are both paid 7-figure sums to think about precisely this, to draw up a shortlist of plausible targets? (You or I or anyone on this board could have done so and over the summer certainly have in about 15 minutes.) And then to work through that list, making *credible* bids for *plausibly* available players and briskly moving on when it becomes apparent that a given target isn’t likely to be realised?

        Instead we have this ludicrous spectacle of protracted below-the-asking-price non-bids for players who don’t want to come/from clubs who don’t want to sell – right up to and I very much fear beyond the window wire.

        I’ve generally demurred at Grognard’s more conspiratorial pronouncements but if this summer’s dealings aren’t in fact a fraud on the long-suffering fanbase they are, given the team’s manifest vulnerability in CM, a cockup of historic proportions.

  23. toshe

    August 31, 2013 at 7:22 pm

    if they have two signings in mind,maybe they trying to handle it carefully…if they pay the full amount for the first straight away,the other would demand more for the second,…so maybe thay play with time…

    • Jay Wire

      August 31, 2013 at 9:20 pm

      @toshe: Yes. Because today is not the 31st of August and it’s not less than two days before the close of the transfer window. Yes they are playing for time because it is wise and logical. I don’t believe this. How deep can one’s head go in the sand?

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