English Premiership

Herrera buys his way to United

2014-06-26 18:43
Ander Herrera (AFP)

Manchester - Athletic Bilbao midfielder Ander Herrera has paid off the buyout clause in his contract, the Spanish club said Thursday, opening the way for him to sign for Manchester United.

"Ander Herrera Aguera has fulfilled the requirements of the applicable regulations valid for unilateral termination of the employment contract that bound him to our club, by depositing today the amount of compensation established in the contract," Athletic Bilbao said in a statement.

"Athletic Club thanks Ander Herrera for his dedication during the three seasons he has enjoyed at the club and wishes him the best in his future sports projects."

The Basque club had earlier said it had rejected Manchester United's offer of €36 million to buy Herrera, 24.

The settling of the buyout clause by the player himself appeared to resolve the question of his move to Manchester, which British media had said was imminent this week.

It would be the English club's first signing since they named Dutchman Louis van Gaal - currently in charge of the Netherlands team at the World Cup - in May as the successor to David Moyes.

The Bilbao-born Herrera joined Athletic from Real Zaragoza in July 2011.

He has scored 11 goals for Athletic in three seasons with the club, including two in the UEFA Cup.

"Athletic should aspire to have players whose first priority is defending the club's colours," said Athletic Bilbao's chairman Josu Urrutia in the statement.

"Ander Herrera's decision is not in line with that idea, which is a disappointment for the club."

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