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Athletic Bilbao

United set to sign Bilbao midfielder Ander Herrera

Manchester United are closing on the signing of Athletic Bilbao midfielder Ander Herrera after reportedly meeting his £36m (€31m) valuation.

Reports suggest David Moyes has agreed to trigger the 24-year-old’s release clause just hours before the transfer window closes.

United are in dire need of reinforcements in midfield, and are also in talks with Everton over Marouane Fellaini.

Herrera, 24, played a starring role when Athletic knocked United out of the Europa League last season.

He was dropped from the team that lost 3-1 at Real Madrid on Sunday, but coach Ernesto Valverde said he did not expect the player to leave.

“It is my understanding as of right now that there will be no more movement in the squad,” Valverde said.

“I consider him a very good player and he is very important for us.

“My impression is that Ander will stay with us and I am not worried about anything else.”

But his stance was at odds with his decision to leave the talented play-maker on the bench for one of Bilbao’s most important games of the season.

When quizzed on why Herrera did not play, Valverde said: “No. It had nothing to do with the bid from Manchester United.

“I have not thought about it. I am not going to try to talk to him to convince him. I think he is going to stay.”

United are expected to tie up deals for Fellaini and Herrera, with the former signing for £25m and the latter for £30m – the release clause figure in his contract.

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