United clinch £29m Herrera deal after late buyout clause wrangle

 
Frank Dalleres
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MANCHESTER United assistant Ryan Giggs has hailed Ander Herrera as one of Spain’s brightest prospects after the club overcame a last-minute hitch to sign the £29m midfielder from Athletic Bilbao.

The deal only came about after Herrera, 24, agreed to pay his own buy-out clause of €36m, with United reimbursing him immediately, after Athletic had rejected the Premier League team’s bid. Herrera is the first signing of the Louis van Gaal era, with the Holland coach due to take over post-World Cup, but Southampton left-back Luke Shaw is expected to follow swiftly for a similar fee.

“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,” said Giggs. “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.”

Herrera was a key part of the Athletic team that beat United so impressively at Old Trafford during the 2011-12 Europa League, a game he called “one of the highlights of my career so far”.

He added: “I have joined United to do all I can to help the team reach the club’s objectives. I can’t wait for my first game in United’s famous red shirt.”

Hull have continued their summer spending by agreeing a fee of more than £6m with Norwich for attacker Robert Snodgrass.

The Scotland international is poised to follow Jake Livermore, who signed from Tottenham for a club record £8m this week.