Athletic Bilbao announce they have rejected €36m Man United offer for Ander Herrera

It would appear that Athletic Bilbao are playing hardball over midfielder Ander Herrera.

Earlier this week, it was reported in the Spanish press that Herrera was on his way to Manchester United after Louis van Gaal’s new side had activated the buy out clause of the 24-year-old midfielder.

Reports over the last 24 hours pointed to Herrera being unveiled on Friday by Manchester United, in what would be a huge boost to their midfield options next season.

However, Bilbao have released a statement on their website on Thursday morning titled: “Manchester United offer declined”.

The statement is one sentence long: “The Athletic Club wishes to report that this week we rejected an offer from Manchester United FC, ​​estimated at 36 million euros, to transfer the federation and economic rights of the player Ander Herrera.”

It seems that the buy-out clause rules in Spain are a lot more complicated when the buyer is not a Spanish club.

Suggestions that the deal was in jeopardy, but would still be done, were announced late last night by a journalist close to Bilbao.

All reports suggested Herrera’s clause runs out on July 1, 2014, so it could be a hectic few days for Manchester United to try and get this deal done in time…