Third time lucky for Man Utd with bid for new Spanish midfielder

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Whether Manchester United were never truly leading the queue to sign Cesc Fabregas or Thiago Alcantara or whether it was just their own slow nature at finalising the deals or even a mixture of both, it is clear that their pursuits of Spanish midfielders this summer has not got swimmingly well.

However, it may end up being third time lucky for the Red Devils, assuming they agree to trigger the minimum-fee release clause of Athletic Bilbao’s Ander Herrera.

The fee in question is €36m and in true Man Utd nature, they have so far only offered €30m. For the small difference between these sums, if Moyes really wants Herrara, it may pay to stump up the extra dough.

In world football terms, Herrara is not what can be classified as a household name, but Man Utd fans may remember him only too well after an impressive display when Bilbao left Old Trafford with a 3-2 Europa League victory in the 2011/12 campaign. See the video above if your memory needs reminding of his great lobbed pass for Bilbao’s second goal that night.

It is Herrera’s movement that is most notable at Bilbao, as although he can predominantly be referred to as their chief playmaker, he can end up particularly deep or up against the touchline in his search for space.

He would be a good asset in a three-man midfield too, especially with Michael Carrick occupying the holding role. A midfield shuttler would be a useful third choice and much may depend on whether Moyes feels Tom Cleverley is up to the job or, whether another foray into the transfer market would be required.

Herrera is no stranger to having Premier League interest, having been on the radar of Arsenal when previously at Real Zaragoza and he would go some way towards filling Man Utd’s seeming need for new central midfield blood.

Given that they are the reigning champions, 11/4 already looks a massive price that Man Utd win the Premier League and capturing Herrera must only make this price diminish.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.