It is believed that the impostors being blamed for Ander Herrera’s collapsed move to Manchester United were three Bilbao-based lawyers.
The young Athletic Bilbao midfielder was expected to complete a deadline day switch out to the English champions yesterday, with it understood that the English were willing to meet the €36m buyout clause in his contract.
Reports through yesterday were that he had met with three Manchester United officials and that they would present the fee at the Spanish Football League [LFP] offices, buying him out of his Athletic contract.
El Correo report that the three men were lawyers from a Bilbao firm, there to represent Herrera and to pay the €36m fee, once permission was granted from United.
For taxation purposes, United needed to pay the fee through club representatives, as Herrera paying it out would have triggered a 45 per cent tax charge as well, pushing the operation to €63.6m.
After an hour at the LFP offices yesterday afternoon, the trio left without having paid Herrera’s buyout clause, citing the delay as just waiting for United to give them official accreditation.
However, the deal fell through, with club officials at United back in England seen as distancing themselves from the Bilbao trio and refusing to certify them to complete the transfer.
David Moyes commented on the deal late yesterday, suggesting that Athletic’s valuation of the buyout clause was the reason for the collapse: “I really like the player but we thought the buy-out was the wrong valuation.”