Manchester United have been told by Athletic Bilbao to keep their hands off Ander Herrera in the January transfer window.
The Basque club’s president, Josu Urrutia, insists the midfielder is going nowhere. United failed in their deadline day bid to sign the 24-year-old last month as Spain’s complex tax laws prevented the deal from going through.
Bilbao, however, revealed afterwards that United failed to meet the player’s £36million buy-out clause.
Urrutia told a press conference:
‘I don’t know what other teams will do, but I consider the Herrera issue to be closed.
‘Ander has a contract until 2016. All players have to focus on giving Athletic all you can give.’
The issue with Urrutia’s statement is that if United, or anyone for that matter, meets Herrera’s buyout clause Athletic will be forced to sell him.