€36 million release clause will net Manchester United 'the Spanish Gerrard'

Man United V Bilbao

Manchester United have been credited with renewing their interest in Ander Herrera.

Better late than never? Manchester United may actually be close to signing a Spanish midfielder.

Having failed in efforts to snap up Cesc Fabregas and Thiago Alcantara, it could be Ander Herrera who finally walks through the doors at OId Trafford.

Marca report on their website: "Manchester United have made ​​a formal offer 30 million for Athletic Bilbao midfielder Ander Herrera. Turning a deaf ear, the Basque club would refer to the clause of 36 million euros."

Athletic Bilbao sold Javi Martinez for €40 million to Bayern Munich, holding out successfully with regard to the release clause in his contract.

United have left it late to make a move, and little negotiating room, but are not far off the figure Bilbao are demanding, which is promising that it could yet be done.

So what do we know about Herrera?

He was a part of the 2011 Spanish under-21 Championship winning team, playing alongside Thiago Alcantara in midfield, and has been key for Bilbao over the past few seasons.

Herrera has been likened to Steven Gerrard for his box-to-box style, and is capable of playing in a variety of positions, defensively and offensively.

He has of course already played at Old Trafford, scoring in Bilbao's 3-2 win in the Europa League two seasons ago. They reached the final of the competition, and an in-form Herrera scored four times and provided 12 assists.

Bilbao as a whole suffered a downturn last season, struggling for form in the league and with the break-up of the side. His form dipped, scoring just two goals and providing two assists.

He turned 24 earlier this month and remains an excellent prospect, but needs a move to progress his career and enhance his international prospects.

€36 million is a steep price, but United are at the stage where they need to spend the money or have it sit it their accounts, and that usually mean at this late stage of the transfer window having to pay a little bit extra.

Would you like Herrera at Old Trafford?

image: © Jack Tanner

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