Athletic Bilbao thought Herrera would reject Man Utd

Athletic Bilbao President Jose Urrutia has revealed he thought Ander Herrera would turn down an offer from Manchester United, according to Club Call.

Herrera moved to Old Trafford in late June after his contractual buyout clause was met at a cost of around £29m. Urrutia has said that he hoped Herrera would stay and not follow the likes of Javi Martinez and Fernando Llorente out of San Mames.

“Ander Herrera was a player we expected to stay at the club,” he revealed. “According to what he said, Ander was delighted to be here and his only aspiration was to stay here.”

The 24-year-old Herrera began his career at Real Zaragoza, making his debut for Zaragoza’s B team in 2008 and moving to the senior side in 2009. He played 86 times for Zaragoza before switching to hometown club Bilbao ahead of the 2011-12 season.

Herrera made 128 appearances for Los Leones, helping Ernesto Valverde’s side into the Champions League for next season by virtue of a fourth-place finish in La Liga. He has yet to break into the senior Spain side but has represented La Roja at youth level, up to the 2012 Olympic Under-23 side, winning five caps.

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