Ander Herrera joins Manchester United: Athletic Bilbao president claims Herrera deceived club by telling them he wanted to stay
Josu Urrutia admits 'this is not a pleasant moment for the club' after Herrera paid his buy-out clause to join United
Thursday 03 July 2014
Athletic Bilbao president Josu Urrutia has claimed new Manchester United signing Ander Herrera deceived the Basque club before sealing his move to the Barclays Premier League.
The 24-year-old midfielder's switch to Old Trafford was finalised last month in a £29million deal, after the English club paid his buy-out clause - nine months after an initial proposed switch had fallen through on transfer deadline day.
Athletic betrayed a sense of disquiet with Herrera the day the move was confirmed, releasing a statement declaring their "disappointment" at his decision to leave, adding "this is not a pleasant moment for the club".
In his first press conference since Herrera left, Urrutia said he had no indication that the midfielder wanted to depart for the Premier League and, following the sales of Javi Martinez, Fernando Llorente, and Herrera in the last two years, Urrutia stressed that the Basques did not aspire to be a selling club.
"For us, Ander Herrera was a player we expected to stay at the club," Urrutia said.
"According to what he said, Ander was delighted to be here and his only aspiration was to stay here."
Moments before the press conference, Athletic announced that midfielder Iker Muniain had signed a two-year contract extension.
Urrutia expressed his delight that the academy product had renewed his commitment to the club, signing a new deal which also sees his buy-out clause raised from 37.5million euros (£30million) to 45million euros (£35.9m).
"We've reached an agreement with Iker, which is good news," he said.
Read more: Fellaini facing United exit
Iniesta hints at United move after Van Gaal praise
United told they will have to trigger £37m Carvalho clause
Referring to the departures of Martinez, Llorente and Herrera, Urrutia underlined the importance of holding on to Muniain, as the club prepare for their pre-season campaign and their Champions League play-off tie in August.
"We have had three exceptional cases recently. If it became a trend, it would be dangerous," he said.
"Our players' maximum aspiration has to be to stay at Athletic. We are looking forward to an exciting year, which starts on Monday."
Latest in Sport
Manchester United teased by Monaco after claims they could have signed 'Luis Suarez of Neymar' instead or £58m Anthony Martial
Former Manchester United star Karel Poborsky goes full hipster
Manchester United hit back at Real Madrid by claiming they let David De Gea 'slip through their fingers into the back of the net'
Premier League Power Rankings: Eden Hazard and Harry Kane continue to slip but Wayne Rooney has to perform against rivals
Serie B introduces 'green cards' to promote good behaviour, fair play and sportsmanship
- 2 'Heartbreaking' Syria orphan photo wasn't taken in Syria and not of orphan
- 3 Malnourished two-year-old found being breastfed by dog in Chile
- 5 YouTube video shows woman verbally abusing takeaway staff 'because they used green peppers'
Britain to take more refugees as Cameron bows to pressure after more than 250,000 back our campaign
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Make your voice heard: Sign The Independent's petition to welcome refugees