Manchester United’s attempts to sign Ander Herrera in the last few days of the summer transfer window was one that drew strong criticism from fans given how farcical the situation ended up with failed bids after a choice not to match his buyout clause and mysterious men getting involved in the deal.
Up until now, not much has been known about United’s approach of Herrera but in an excellent interview with United We Stand, Woodward revealed that United had tracked Herrera for the past three years.
We had done our scouting on the midfielder and knew his strengths and weaknesses, so it wasn’t a last minute desperate decision to try and sign a midfielder after the failed pursuit of Cesc Fabregas as some would have you believe.
Our scouting of Herrera would have likely increased following his impressive performances against us in the 2012 Europa League where he was an integral part of an Athletic Bilbao side that crushed United over two legs.
But despite our long standing interest in Herrera, Woodward admitted that the decision to put a bid forward for him was ‘a very late one’ in an attempt to strengthen our midfield that ultimately failed. In contrast, our bid for Sami Khedira was more likely to be the reactionary last ditch bid without extensive research.
There were certainly shortfalls in the window, something which Woodward openly admits in his interview with Andy Mitten, but while our pursuit of Herrera was ill advised in how we approached Bilbao, it was not a decision made without a thought process behind it.
Whether or not we go back in for the Spaniard in January remains to be seen but he has struggled in Bilbao since the summer, something The Peoples Person will be looking into later today.