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Man Utd plot summer return to Basque country for midfielder

| 18.04.2014

The embarrassing way Man Utd’s summer 2013 pursuit of Athletic Bilbao’s Ander Herrera ended hasn’t put boss David Moyes off another bid for the 24-year-old at the end of the current campaign.

United will be playing for pride and a dreaded place in the Europa League when they visit Everton, with Roberto Martinez’s men available at 7/5 to atone for their misstep last time out against Crystal Palace by doing the double over old boss Moyes.

Sir Alex Ferguson’s successor is already planning for his second term in charge of the Red Devils and has been linked with moves for half of Europe’s best players in recent months.

Indeed, transfer rumours regarding the soon-to-be-deposed Premier League champions seem to be stuck on repeat, with Germany internationals Toni Kroos and Marco Reus, and Southampton left-back Luke Shaw, continually mooted as Moyes’ top targets.

There’s been less said about Herrera since the ‘Benny Hill sketch’ – to borrow from Bilbao newspaper El Correa – that was United’s pursuit of the midfield playmaker at the end of last August.

Three Spanish lawyers well known to Athletic, after they handled the sale of Javi Martinez to Bayern Munich a year earlier, were said to be acting on the Old Trafford giants’ behalf in attempting to activate Herrera’s £30m buyout clause.

However, after certain UK media outlets branded the trio ‘imposters’ the deal went down the plughole, with United switching their focus to Marouane Fellaini and eventually abandoning the move for Herrera.

Whether Los Leones’ number 21 still fancies the move after such farce – especially having taken into account Moyes’ dreadful first campaign in charge at the club – is as yet unclear, but the Scot will reportedly revisit scouting reports on the Basque before finalising his summer plans.

He better move quickly though, as Herrera’s buyout clause is due to rise to £37m at the start of July, according to reports.

United are 2/1 to win away in the Premier League for the fifth game in a row against Everton, with the draw 12/5.

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Alex Fortune