Manchester United complete the signing of Athletic Bilbao midfielder Ander Herrera on a four-year contract.

The Manchester United-Ander Herrera soap opera has been in progress since last summer when former Red Devils manager David Moyes made an attempt to sign the Spaniard. The transfer saga ended in embarrassment as three imposters tried to conduct a deal on behalf of the English club and negotiations broke down.

But Manchester United have finally got their man as the 24-year-old Spaniard bought himself out of his contract with Athletic Bilbao and signed a four-year contract with the English club.

“Manchester United is delighted to announce that, after triggering the buy-out clause in his contract on Tuesday, it has signed Spanish midfielder Ander Herrera from Athletic Club in Bilbao, pending the receipt of the International Transfer Certificate. He joins on a four-year contract, with an option to extend for a further year.” – Read an official statement published by Manchester United on their official site.

This announcement came hours after the Spanish club surprisingly published a report on their website stating that they have rejected a bid for the midfielder from Manchester United. Spanish law meant that the player needed to buy out his contract with the correct compensation in order to leave the club and Herrera has completed the proceedings by paying £29m to Athletic Bilbao.

“requirements of the applicable regulations valid for unilateral termination of the employment contract that bound him to our Club, by depositing today the amount of compensation established in the contract.

“The Athletic Club thanks Ander Herrera for his dedication during the three seasons he has enjoyed the club and wishes him the best in his future sports projects.” – Read a statement released by Athletic Bilbao, thanking Herrera for his contribution towards the club.

Herrera becomes the first signing under new manager Louis van Gaal, and is expected to be the first of many this summer as the Dutch coach looks to rebuild the squad after a disappointing season last time around. The Spaniard expressed his delight at having signed for United and also than Athletic Bilbao for developing him as a player.

“Signing for Manchester United is a dream come true. I have played at Old Trafford for Athletic Club in the UEFA Europa League and it was one of the highlights of my career so far. I have joined United to do all I can to help the team reach the club’s objectives. Having arrived on Tuesday, I’m excited to now be living in Manchester and I can’t wait for my first game in United’s famous red shirt. I will never forget my time with Athletic Club and I’d like to thank the fans and staff for all their support and, above all, wish all my fantastic former team-mates all the best for the future.” – The new Manchester United signing said in his first interview to the club’s website.

 

Ryan Giggs, assistant manager at Manchester United, also expressed his delight and have secured this deal for one of the “brightest young prospect in Spain”.

“Ander is a fantastic young player, with great energy and creativity. We believe him to be one of the brightest young prospects in Spain and I am certain he will be a big hit with the United fans. I’m delighted he has made the decision to come to Manchester and play his part in the club’s future. I’m looking forward to seeing him in action on our summer tour to America.” – Giggs said.