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'Disappointing' - La Liga boss on Manchester United's successful signing of Ander Herrera

Athletic Bilbao boss Ernesto Valverde has admitted his disappointment his side could not sign Ander Herrera, but suggests they will not be moving for Arsenal midfielder Mikel Arteta as a replacement.

Ander Herrera clinched his transfer to Manchester United at the end of last month, leaving a healthy looking Athletic Bilbao behind him.

The club president Jose Urrutia reacted negatively to his departure when speaking last week, stating: "For us, Ander Herrera was a player we expected to stay at the club. According to what he said, Ander was delighted to be here and his only aspiration was to stay here."

Bilbao however netted a very healthy fee for his services at £29.9 million, are a team with Champions League football and a new stadium, and what's more - their manager is comfortable not spending the money on a replacement.

Coach Ernesto Valverde spoke on Tuesday, to confirm his own sadness at Herrera's departure to United, and speak of his plans for the club's midfield.

He is quoted by FourFourTwo as stating: "It is disappointing, he is a player who has given us a lot.

"There are players vying for his position and we expect them to do as well or even better. We wish him the best of luck.

"I wasn't expecting the sale of Ander. (These) are issues that can happen."

Bilbao signed the talented Benat from Real Betis last summer, who along with Oscar de Marcos and teenager Unai Lopez, give the Basque side plenty of options.

InsideSpanishFootball add Valverde as commenting: "Its time to find a solution and we believe the answer will come from within and that stability will be maintained."

This scotches suggestions Bilbao will look to sign Arsenal's Mikel Arteta as a potential replacement even in a cut-price summer move.

Bilbao's disappointment at losing Herrera however, despite their options, reveal just how valuable he was to them, while their decision not to buy, hints that on the market - he is irreplaceable.

United fans will hope to soon learn what all the excitement is about first hand, when pre-season kicks off later this month.

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