Herrera happy to stay in Bilbao

Ander Herrera is flattered by Man United's interest in him but admits it would have been difficult for him to leave Athletic Bilbao.

Last Updated: 04/09/13 at 16:09 Post Comment

Herrera: Happy to stay at Athletic Bilbao

Herrera: Happy to stay at Athletic Bilbao

Ander Herrera is flattered by the interest shown in him by Manchester United but admits it would have been difficult for the Barclays Premier League champions to have enticed him away from Athletic Bilbao had negotiations over a proposed move got that far.

Herrera broke his silence on Wednesday over the transfer saga which saw United's late bid to sign the 24-year-old before the transfer window closed end in failure and a degree of farce on Monday night.

United saw an initial offer for Herrera rejected by Athletic last week with the Basque club's president Josu Urrutia insisting they would not negotiate for their players and that if the Red Devils wanted their man they would have to pay the release clause in his contract of around £30.75million.

David Moyes' side were still being linked with Herrera right up until the close of the transfer window but no move was forthcoming.

Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, Herrera insisted he had not had talks with United, but admitted the English side might have struggled to turn his head anyway.

He said: "Obviously when United make an offer for you it's very flattering and I'm very grateful, but I'm very happy with Athletic.

"I didn't pass a medical as has been said. Athletic have made things clear in an honest way from the start.

"In the first place the club have to pay the clause, which is 36 million euros for me, and then attract me more than Athletic do, which is very difficult.

"It's totally false that an agreement was reached with me. To talk with me they would've had to pay the clause."

Asked if he felt let down at all by United, Herrera said: "Not at all. How am I going to feel mistreated when a club of the level of United make a formal offer?

"I'm grateful for that and also because Athletic have not wanted to negotiate, as that shows how they value their players.

"It makes me proud that one of the leading clubs in the world are interested in me.

"It shows that I'm doing things well."

The farce of the proposed transfer came on Monday night when reports emerged that three people said to be representing the Red Devils had turned up at the Spanish league headquarters, seemingly to meet the clause in the former Real Zaragoza player's contract.

The trio left an hour later, apparently unable to complete the paperwork required to finalise the deal.

However, it then transpired that United, who dealt directly with Athletic, knew nothing of the trio's existence.

When asked about that, Herrera said: "They were nothing to do with me, you'll have to ask them. They don't represent me nor do I know who they are."

Herrera, who insists he has been calm and relaxed since the events of Monday night, also feels he has conducted himself correctly throughout the matter.

He said: "My behaviour has been good, I've never pressured the club and I've not asked to go. I'm very relaxed with the way I've done things. And the club have been faithful and honest with what they've transmitted.

"I was staying quiet because it wasn't planned for me to go out at a press conference and because there was an important game against Real Madrid (on Sunday). I like to show my face, not talk through Twitter."

Looking to the future, which on Wednesday saw Athletic players train for the first time at the new San Mames stadium, Herrera said: "I started the season with Athletic and I'm thinking of finishing it with them. We have a marvellous stadium which is going to be full. I'm in a special place.

"I'm going to continue showing the performances with Athletic that I have done since the first day I arrived.

"Two years ago I played in two finals (Europa League and Copa del Rey). There's nothing nicer than this. I hope that with the effort that the club have made we can be regular participants in European competition and we don't have to be jealous of anybody."


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