£30m Manchester United bid star: I was grateful for their interest

Athletic Bilbao

Ander Herrera has been talking about Manchester United's pursuit of him last summer.

Ander Herrera says he is grateful Manchester United wanted to sign him, but has no desire to move on, describing his current club as a 'religion'.

The Spaniard told newspaper El Confidencial that he had a desire only to move forward with current club Athletic Bilbao.

"I am grateful to United for their interest and to Athletic for considering me to be more valuable than money.

"We are a solid club with a good economic standing. We are privileged.

"We are stable financially, well respected, have a new stadium and a great team - no Athletic players want to leave."

He has a fair point, Bilbao are fourth in the table, three points clear of fifth placed Villareal and currently in line to land a Champions League place for next season.

"Being an Athletic player is more, it is like a religion. The Motto that of 'I do not like football, but I am the Athletic', says it all. The crowd fills the field regardless of the day it is. It makes no difference Monday, Friday to Saturday."

Perhaps he would have got on well at United whose fans hold a MUFC The Religion banner in the Stretford End. But then again asking somebody to change their belief is a night on impossible task.

United were held up by red tape on deadline day in September, but perhaps even if they had got the paperwork for his release clause sorted out, Herrera still would have resisted.

The 24-year-old has three goals and three assists this season, with two goals and three assists coming in 2014.

It took him a while to find his feet this season, with his slow start blamed on the uncertainty caused by United's late approach. Now he is in the form which makes him an asset to his club, and showed by the Red Devils wanted him in the first place.

image: © birasuegi

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