Manchester United began the new Louis Van Gaal era in a big way today with the signing of Ander Herrera for a reported £29m from Athletic Bilbao. Herrera was pursued last summer by the Red Devils but ultimately that pursuit not only fell short but was the possible subject of sabotage.
Herrera told the official Manchester United website:
“Signing for Manchester United is a dream come true. I have played at Old Trafford for Athletic 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.”
Herrera reportedly helped close the deal when he agreed to pay the release clause with his own money after Athletic Bilbao prevented the transfer from going through.
Also on Thursday, Luke Shaw the highly touted Southampton and England left-back who went the full 90 minutes for the Three Lions against Costa Rica earlier in the week has passed a medical. Shaw, an exceptionally talented 18 year-old back, already has a World Cup campaign under his belt and over 60 Premier League appearances. The price tag for Shaw is reported to be in the neighborhood of £30m.
Shaw had many Premier League suitors. Reigning Premier League Champions Manchester City and 2012 European Champions Chelsea were among the clubs interested in securing the youngster’s service. But ultimately Manchester United in the middle of a massive rebuild secured Shaw’s signature.
The Red Devils somewhat surprisingly re-signed Patrice Evra to a one year deal. Evra who is still alive in the World Cup with France will be asked to mentor Shaw while continuing most likely in a reserve role.