David Moyes has admitted that Manchester United had no intention of meeting Athletic Bilbao’s €31 million valuation of Ander Herrera this summer.
United had looked on the verge of signing the Spanish midfielder after reports suggested that we were willing to meet the club’s valuation of the 24-year-old but a transfer deadline day circus, including mystery lawyers, saw United’s bid fall through.
And when asked about whether United ever intended to pay the full buy-out clause to Bilbao, Moyes was straight forward in his reply.
“We made an offer for £23m and we were never going to go to the buy-out clause,” he said.
“All the rubbish that was talked about that – with people going in, they were never working on behalf of us.”
David Moyes on Ander Herrera today: "We made an offer for £23m and we were never going to go to the buy-out clause" #mufc
— Daniel Taylor (@DTathletic) September 14, 2013
Given how hard Bayern Munich were pushed in their pursuit of Javi Martinez, you would have thought Moyes realised how difficult Bilbao are to negotiate with. Their policy of playing only home grown players means they are notoriously hard to bargain with and Moyes found out the hard way.
They had no desire to sell Herrera and despite the player offering to take a lower wage in order to force the move, it seems that United were only willing to pay £23 million. Given just how much he would have added to the team, missing out on Herrera for around an extra £6 million seems silly.
At the start of the summer, Moyes indicated United had ‘unlimited funds’ in the transfer market but that proved not to be the case.
The Telegraph’s Mark Ogden indicates that United will make a fresh bid for Herrera in January but if Moyes does, Bilbao will be in an even stronger position to negotiate given the calamities of deadline day.
While everyone would welcome United going back in and trying to secure Herrera, there is no point in Moyes going back to renew his interest in Herrera unless he is willing to pay the full release clause. United have already been left with egg on their faces once, we can’t do the same again in January.