MANCHESTER United transfer target Ander Herrera insists he was undecided about joining the Premier League champions before his proposed deadline day move from Athletic Bilbao collapsed.
Herrera’s doomed transfer was one of a number of summer deals United failed to pull off, prompting fans to raise concerns that the departure of manager Sir Alex Ferguson and chief executive David Gill has weakened their ability to attract top players.
It has made new boss David Moyes’s modest start on the field even less comfortable, and, despite being flattered by the interest, Herrera emphasised he had not been “seduced” by United.
“Athletic made it clear that the only option would have been to pay my buy-out clause, and if they did not, they wouldn’t be able to sign me. It’s completely false that United and I reached a deal,” he said.
“First, [United] would have had to pay the €36m (£30.4m) release clause and then seduce me more than Athletic, which is very difficult.”
Moyes’s only major business was to sign Everton’s Marouane Fellaini for £27.5, yet even that attracted mockery as he could have signed him for £5m less earlier in the summer. The Scot, who had to fight to keep unsettled star Wayne Rooney at the club, has also been hit by claims of a cool relationship with striker Robin van Persie.
But defensive stalwart Rio Ferdinand believes the current squad is good enough to “win everything”. He added: “We won the league at a canter last season and we’ve not become a bad team overnight. We believe strongly in what we’ve got. You can’t judge after three games.”