Athletic Bilbao president Josu Urrutia has claimed Ander Herrera showed no signs of wanting a Manchester United move and called him a liar for saying he was happy at the Basque club.
Herrera, 24, secured a move to Old Trafford last week after some delayed negotiations with regards to the payment of his release clause which came as no surprise given that United were dealing with Athletic Bilbao, who are notoriously difficult to deal with.
Now, speaking in his first press conference since Herrera moved to United, Urrutia was keen to deflect any negative attention away from the club for selling Herrera by blaming the player for orchestrating a move against his word.
“For us, Ander Herrera was a player we expected to stay at the club,” Urrutia said.
“According to what he said, Ander was delighted to be here and his only aspiration was to stay here.”
Seeing as Herrera wanted to join United last year, it is unlikely that attitude would have changed so Urrutia’s comments look more like a case of blaming Herrera for the move than anything else.
As with the sales of Javi Martinez and Fernando Llorente, Athletic are keen to save face as they don’t want to be seen as a selling club by the fans.
Herrera’s reputation in the Basque region will no doubt be damaged by Urrutia’s comments but luckily enough, the only region he has to worry about now is Manchester.