Manchester United’s failed attempt to sign Ander Herrera is what this transfer window is going to be remembered for by United fans.
Despite the shock of United signing a central midfielder in Marouane Fellaini who will certainly add some real power and physicality to our midfield, it is the fallout from our embarrassing and public failure to sign Herrera that will stick in the memory.
Early on deadline day, Herrera’s move to Old Trafford looked on course. United had reportedly agreed to pay Herrera’s €36 million release clause, the player indicated he was keen on the move and United had sent representatives to Spain so that they could pay the release clause. Everything was going to plan. Great stuff.
But as the afternoon went on, it slowly began to unravel. United’s representatives at the LFP building in Spain had ‘bureaucratic problems’ that halted progress on the deal and they left the building.
They soon returned and reports suggested it was merely some extra paperwork that needed to be completed.
But United did not want to pay the €6 million tax add-ons so tried to force Athletic Bilbao to negotiate with the Spanish club and they unsurprisingly refused to budge. After all, a release clause is not typically a negotiable figure.
The plot thickened when there were claims that United’s officials in Spain were not United officials at all but imposters and while they were not impostors in the complete sense, they certainly had nothing to do with the Herrera deal.
It has been found through some great research by this chap Twitter that the men who were at the LFP building were the same lawyers who helped negotiate Javi Martinez’s move from Athletic Bilbao to Bayern Munich go through.
They may have had nothing to do with United but they were not impostors. They were lawyers trying to edge in and get a cut out of a deal they knew was ongoing.
El Correo rightly reports in their newspaper today that Herrera was left hanging. I feel pretty sorry for him. Reports suggest that United could renew their interest in January but if I was Herrera, there is no chance I would consider moving to Old Trafford after what happened.
United’s failure to sign Herrera had nothing to do with the impostors. It was our stubborn negotiation process that wanted to save a few million Euros despite having an ‘unlimited budget’.
Sir Alex Ferguson was straight forward in his request for fans to stand behind David Moyes and we all will but the United board have really hung him out to dry this summer.
In a year where United secured lucrative sponsorship deals and Ferguson/Gill retired, we needed a powerful window to kick start Moyes’ career. Instead, he has been left out on a limb and faces an uphill struggle because of it.