Ander Herrera dropped from Athletic Bilbao XI with deal to be confirmed on Monday

by Sam Peoples

Ander Herrera has been dropped to the bench for Athletic Bilbao’s clash with Real Madrid today amid intense speculation linking him with a move to Manchester United.

The 24-year-old had started both of Bilbao’s games so far this season against Osasuna and Vallodolid where he played 63 and 85 minutes respectively.

He is fit and ready to play but has been left out by manager Ernesto Valverde, supporting reports that United are set to wrap up a deal for Herrera on Monday.

Basque newspaper El Correo reported this morning that personal terms have already been agreed between Herrera and United with Athletic Bilbao happy to let Herrera go to a club like United because they have gone about their business in the correct manner.

MARCA also supports the claims made by El Correo and has labelled his appearance today against Real Madrid as ‘his last outing’ ahead of a move to United on Monday.

The fee of €38 million, which would include a €2 million youth levy to keep relations between Herrera and Athletic Bilbao, is extremely expensive but in this transfer season, market value has been thrown out of the window. Fellow Spanish U21s midfielder Asier Illarramendi moved to Real Madrid for €38.9 million earlier this summer, so it would represent a similar deal for United with Herrera.

Although his father admitted it would be difficult for Herrera to leave Bilbao, it would be a big move for the progression of his career. The opportunity to play on the biggest stage at Old Trafford in the UEFA Champions League will throw Herrera into the spotlight and give him a real chance at breaking into Vicente Del Bosque’s Spanish side.

With United playing Liverpool in the early kick-off today, there will no doubt be news regarding any transfers later today or very early on Monday and if El Correo are correct, Herrera will be moving to Old Trafford.

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