Manchester United transfer news: United's £28.4m new signing Ander Herrera is not on the same level as Toni Kroos or Paul Pogba, admits coach Nicky Butt

United signed Herrera at the start of the transfer window but appear to have missed out on both Kroos and Pogba

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The Independent Online

Nicky Butt has described the signing of new Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera as a “bonus” despite the club missing out on intended targets Paul Pogba and Toni Kroos, but admits that he is not quite on their level just yet.

The club allowed Pogba to leave when his contract expired in 2012 – a decision widely regarded as a one of Alex Ferguson’s biggest mistakes during his unrivalled career – and the French midfielder has made it clear he does not want to return to United as he is likely to remain with Juventus.

With Kroos agreeing a deal today to join Real Madrid, United saw two of their top targets reject the chance to head to Old Trafford, but they did complete the £28.4m addition of Herrera after missing out of the former Athletic Bilbao star last summer.

Butt has lamented the unavailability of top class midfielders during the current transfer window, and stressed that Herrera will need time to settle into life in Manchester if he is to develop into the player United believe they have signed.

“He [Herrera] was at the level where you just had to take note of this player because there are not many top midfielders you can get,” Butt told the Manchester Evening News, having spent time scouting the 24-year-old last season when David Moyes was manager.


“You can all talk about Pogba or Kroos but these kind of players are not easy to get. So you have to widen your net and Herrera is a bonus.

“He is at a level where he can play at a club like United and given a bit of time he can excel.

“I watched Ander a few times last season on scouting trips. He impressed me. He can become a star player for us. He can become a big influence on our midfield [but] you will have to be patient with him.”

Video: Louis Van Gaal attends training

While the club were priced out of a move for Pogba with his valuation around £60m, Kroos has moved to Real for £8.4m less than Herrera cost, while Chelsea were able to sign Cesc Fabregas from Barcelona in a £30m deal.

The failure to land any of those three, who were all believed to be on Louis van Gaal’s radar, suggests that United’s absence from the Champions League this season is costing them in the transfer market, despite what the club’s official may say.