Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed that Manchester United’s interest in summer signing Ander Herrera dates back to well before his departure from the club at the close of the 2012-13 season.
Herrera, 25, was reported to be the subject of a £24 million bid from United last summer, before the deal collapsed at the last-minute due to complications over the then-Athletic Bilbao midfielder’s release clause.
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Going on to seal a £29 million move to Manchester in June, Ferguson has hailed the former Spain Under-23 international’s qualities and admits that the club had been doing their due diligence on him even prior to his Basque outfit travelling to Old Trafford for a Europa League last-16 tie in March 2012.
‘[Ander] Herrera played against us three years ago for Bilbao in the Europa League. He's a talented young player and we scouted him quite a lot at that time,’ he told MUTV.
‘Obviously I think they tried to get him last year but it fell through for some reason or another. He's athletic, quite aggressive actually for a lad who has not got a great frame and he's quite slim but he's quite aggressive and he gets around the pitch.’
Herrera has scored twice in four Premier League appearances for United so far this season, but missed the recent 2-1 home win over Everton after suffering a fractured rib in the previous game against West Ham United, and remains a doubt for the upcoming trip to West Bromwich Albion.