Athletic Bilbao president Josu Urrutia has said that any chance of Ander Herrera leaving the club is now ‘closed’.
The 24-year-old was subject to a late move by Manchester United in the summer but a deal fell through because of United’s reluctance to pay his full £31 million release clause.
Speaking at a press conference, Urrutia said: “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.”
Despite Urrutia’s insistence that the midfielder is going nowhere, according to reports in Spain, United have already continued their pursuit of Herrera.
Herrera’s buy out clause means that any club who meets it can approach the player and even if Bilbao still have no intention of selling Herrera, they won’t be able to stop Moyes if we were to pay the full release clause.
It would be a setback if Bilbao took a stronger stance on Herrera’s given that he would not want to leave the club on bad terms but they would be powerless to stop United if the release clause was met.
Another move for Herrera could happen as early as January but Moyes will have to make sure that United go in with the full amount as another cock-up would all but end any chance United would have of signing him.