Dethroned Premier League giants Manchester United are close to securing their first signing of the Louis van Gaal era after triggering the £ 30 million release clause of Athletic Bilbao midfielder Ander Herrera.
Reports emerging in the Spanish media indicate that the club has already agreed personal terms with the player and his agent is already in London finalizing some minute details of the deal that will see United add to their Spanish contingent.
If the move does go through as expected, Herrera will become the first signing of incoming boss Louis van Gaal. The 24 year old was on the radar of former United boss David Moyes and United apparently made a £ 24 million bid for the player last summer as well, but Athletic Bilbao’s decision to hold out for the release clause saw the deal fall through.
The deal to bring Herrera in not only signifies the intent from new boss van Gaal but also Manchester United vice chairman Edward Woodward who was blamed for the club’s poor transfer record last season that made the club the butt of all jokes.
United are keen to complete the deal as quickly as possible with the player’s release clause set to rise to £ 35 million from July 1 and United don’t want to pay over the odds for a player who is yet to establish himself with the Spanish national team, where he is seen as the heir apparent to Xabi Alonso.
Woodward is confident the deal will go through before the month is out with Herrera expected to sign a contract for four years with a basic salary of £ 50,000 per week when he joins the new Manchester United of Louis van Gaal, who is set to take charge of the club after The Netherlands’ World Cup campaign.