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€36m Ander Herrera could still snub Manchester United transfer

Manchester United are closing on Ander Herrera, but that's just one part of the deal.

Manchester United are pushing ahead with attempts to sign Ander Herrera from Athletic Bilbao, according to reports in Spain.

The Red Devils are ready to pay his 36 million release clause, and seal their first capture of the summer.

But there is one major sticking point - Does Herrera himself want to go?

The lure of signing for a big club like United is obvious, as is playing under Louis van Gaal, and former Spain under-21 teammates David de Gea and Juan Mata.

There remains however, Herrera's close ties to Bilbao, and the unique opportunity he has there.

His form in the second half of last season saw the club secure Champions League football for the first time since 1997, with a superb fourth placed finish.

It is something his agent stated last week the midfielder is excited about: "He only focuses on the upcoming season with Athletic because he is very excited to play the Champions League with his team."

United of course do not have Champions League football on offer, and Herrera will be torn, knowing the Red Devils may not return a third time for him, having failed to sign him last summer.

Bilbao have recently moved into a new stadium, an exciting time for the club and their supporters, and Herrera spoke back in February to pledge his commitment to the club.

SkySports reported him as stating: "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."

His teammate Iker Muniain is also said to be close to signing a contract extension at the club, evidence of Herrera's comments about the club's stars wanting to remain.

There have been departures in recent seasons however, most notably Javi Martinez who has gone on to win the lot at Bayern Munich. United offer no such guarantees after last season, as Bayern do in Germany.

It would be a brave move for Herrera to turn his back on United, but while rumour regarding the deal swirls, United fans must at least acknowledge the possibility that his decision is not as cut and dry as they may hope.

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