Athletic Bilbao manager Ernesto Valverde expects Ander Herrera to stay in Spain despite strong interest from Manchester United.
The 24-year-old was left on the bench today in Bilbao’s 3-1 loss to Real Madrid leading many to believe it was an indication of Herrera’s imminent departure but Valverde claimed it had nothing to do with the bid from Manchester United.
Speaking after his sides 3-1 loss to Real Madrid, he said: “It had nothing to do with the bid from Manchester United, I left him out because I chose the players I thought were best suited to the game,” he told a press conference.
“I’m not thinking about speaking to him to convince him about anything and I’m not worried about anything else.
“I haven’t spoken with the player but what I’m going to repeat is that I don’t expect the club to make any moves in the transfer market tomorrow.
“I do not know what will happen. I want Ander to stay with us, and that is what I think, expect will happen.”
Whether or not Valverde expects Herrera to stay in Spain is irrelevant if United match his €36 million release clause because the club will then not be able to stop him moving to Old Trafford.
At that point, it will solely be the decision of Herrera as to whether he leaves Athletic Bilbao or not and the lure of Champions League football may prove too good for the 24-year-old to turn down.