Manchester United just missed out on Athletic Bilbao midfielder Ander Herrera last summer window and David Moyes is reportedly considering going back in for the signature of the Spaniard.

English newspaper Daily Mail has reported today that David Moyes will revisit scouting reports on Athletic Bilbao midfielder Ander Herrera before finalising his crucial summer wishlist.

Herrera was the subject of strong interest from United last summer but, ultimately, they were reluctant to pay his buy-out clause of £32 million. That valuation remains the sticking point and, to complicate matters, the clause is due to rise again on July 1 to £37m.

United fans who do not follow Spanish football remember Herrera as a player who dominated our midfield in a 2011/12 season Europa League clash.

If Moyes were to move again for the 24-year-old he may hope to prise him from Bilbao for less than his €36m (£29.9m) buyout clause as the player has struggled to reclaim his form in the most part of the Spanish season.

A deal to buy Herrera in the summer failed after United refused to pay the fee with the Basque club unwilling to lower the price due, in part, to their policy of only fielding players from the region.

Given the farce on the closing day of the last window which featured three Spanish lawyers, Rodrigo García Lucas, Alvaro Reig Gurrea and Guillermo Gutiérrez being photographed entering Spanish league offices apparently acting for United – subsequently denied by the club – if Moyes does attempt to prise Herrera away again, he and Ed Woodward, the executive vice-chairman, would have to be confident of success.

With Michael Carrick having a distinctly below par season and Paul Scholes definitely, properly for sure having retired this time, a player who can rotate possession well, contribute with goals and assists and offer a degree of tactical flexibility is a real need of time at Old Trafford and Herrera fits the bill perfectly.

Herrera would be a nice partner for Carrick. Whereas the latter likes to play deeper, Herrera is a technically sound player that is capable of unlocking opposing defenses with incisive passing and excellent vision.

However, it is unlikely a club with Bilbao’s reputation in the transfer market will move a great deal on price. Their distinctive transfer policy means they have a stronger imperative to hold onto their star players.Juventus had to wait to sign Fernando Llorente on a free transfer in order to finally get hold of a player they had pursued for some time. And given David Moyes’ reputation as a diligent operator in the transfer market, the idea of overpaying for a player will surely not appeal to him.  

THT Verdict:

There is absolutely no doubt that Herrea is exactly the king of a player required by United. However, rigid management of Athletic Bilbao will play the key role in the future of the Spaniard.