Pedro Herrera has admitted that it will be very difficult for his son Ander to leave Athletic Bilbao for Manchester United this summer.
David Moyes submitted a €30 million bid for the 24-year-old that was rejected and while United are expected to return with a €36 million offer to match his release clause, Pedro has placed doubt over whether a move can materialise.
Speaking to Spain’s Mundo Deportivo, Pedro said: “Ander is very good at Athletic and is very happy at Athletic.
“He fought hard to get to this club and it is very difficult to go.”
Herrera moved from Real Zaragoza to Bilbao in February 2011 and has since made over 60 appearances for them, establishing himself as an integral part of their midfield.
But it is the tradition of Bilbao that makes it difficult for Herrera to leave. Every player in their squad is born in the Basque region, meaning that they have a strong attachment to the club that runs deeper than normal.
However, the likes of Javi Martinez and Fernando Llorente have shown that players have left Bilbao in order to play football at the highest level in the past.
What makes United’s move for Herrera seem strange is Moyes’ decision to move late in the window knowing full well that it would be a difficult negotiation process. With only two days left, it is likely that any move for Herrera will go right down to the last few hours of the transfer window.
Pedro Herrera continued by claiming that United’s decision to make a move for Ander is because of their failure to find a replacement for Cesc Fabregas, whom United had two bids rejected for.
“I think Manchester is a decision that has not found a replacement for Cesc,” he added.
“Manchester has taken the decision to opt for a creative player and has thought Ander.”
All United can now do is match Herrera’s release clause of €36 million. At that point, we will have permission to speak to the player but if he does not want to leave Bilbao, United are powerless to make him do so.