Athletic Bilbao's president has been discussing Ander Herrera, wanted by Manchester United
'Case closed' - That's what Athletic Bilbao's president Josu Urrutia had to say about Ander Herrera's proposed switch to Manchester United on Thursday.
United made a bungled attempt to sign the midfielder on transfer deadline day, and last week reports resurfaced that the Red Devils were keen on going back in for him in January.
Urrutia was speaking at a press conference, in which he was announcing plans for tie down several stars to longer contracts, including whizkid Iker Muniain.
Herrera is not among the players to be offered new deals, because Urrutia feels the present deal the player is on, which lasts until 2016 - will suffice for now.
The president simply wants the midfielder to show his worth on the pitch and enjoy his time while he is here, and when he was asked about him by reporters his stance was abrupt:
"I don't know what other teams will do, but I consider the Herrera issue to be closed, Ander has a contract until 2016. All players have to focus on giving Athletic all you can give."
However as much as Urrutia considers the case closed, it is only a shut one from a short-term perspective.
Once January 1 rolls around, the case will very much be open.
Bilbao want to keep the midfielder, but they are at risk of losing him and can only hide behind paperwork and regulations.
Herrera has a €36 million release clause written in his contract, which if United can activate it - he is their pending personal terms.
They failed to do so a month ago because the logisitics of doing so, filing paperwork at the La Liga offices, and complying with any other required regulations was just too much to do in the 24 hours they left themselves, typical of the poor planning United made during the transfer window.
In January they have a whole month to do so, and while Urrutia considers it a closed case, he must know it is only until then, once that date strikes a transfer is very much on.
image: © Jack Tanner