This might not be the “big” signing Manchester United have been talking about, but it certainly is expensive, and might fill a need the team has at the moment, as they make a move at Ander Herrera of Athletic Bilbao, hoping to finally end all the criticism of their inactivity in the transfer market this summer.
According to the Spanish radio station Cadena Cope, United have made an offer worth £25 million to Athletic Bilbao for their 24-year old midfielder, who tends to play as more of an attacking midfielder which seems to be something that United might not need that much, but he has no problem playing in a more retreated role, and can fill the of one of the central midfielders if necessary.
The problem for United in this case? Low-balling, again. It’s not that Herrera isn’t worth £25 million. But Bilbao are always reluctant to let players go, unless their release clause is triggered, and in Herrera’s case it’ll take an offer of €36 million in order to officially release him from the club.
Herrera began his career with Zaragoza before joining Athletic Bilbao, somewhat of a homecoming for him having grown up in the city in 2011, following his excellent U-21 European Championship with the Spanish team, winning the trophy and finding himself on the Team of the Tournament.
Since becoming a first team regular for Zaragoza, he has played 126 La Liga matches (had one season in the second division), scoring 6 goals and adding 13 assists. Clearly, Herrera isn’t the kind of player to produce numbers or create a lot of goals, and his strengths, despite his tendency to play in an attacking role out of the midfield trio resides elsewhere.
All the expensive deals United have been trying to make this summer haven’t been working – Mesut Ozil, Cesc Fabregas and the Everton duo, Marouane Fellaini and Leighton Baines, as a third United offer has recently been rejected, with Everton looking quite confident they’ll be able to keep both players if they won’t receive at least £25 million for each of them.