Red Devils had been hoping to sign the Basque at the turn of the year.
Premier League champions Manchester United have suffered a blow after long-running transfer target Ander Herrera declared his intention to remain with La Liga outfit Athletic Bilbao rather than move to Old Trafford when the winter transfer window opens again for business in the new year, according to reports on talkSPORT.co.uk.
The Red Devils tried to sign the former Spain Under-23 international of course during the summer, only for new United head coach David Moyes to fail with a last-minute big-money offer for Herrera in the final hours of transfer deadline day.
However, it has widely been assumed that the Scot would return in January with an improved bid for the 24-year-old in order to this time try and convince the Basques to part company with Herrera.
But it now appears as though the Premier League giants will be wasting their time and energy making such a move after the Basque told Canal Plus Spain: “I appreciate very much that Manchester United made a very important offer for me and also that Athletic did not accept it.
“That means that Athletic value me above money and trust in their project more than a large offer.
“I’m where I wanted to be in this day, not someone who has played for six or seven clubs. I like to feel good where I am, take root and Athletic is the perfect place for me.”
Moyes has regularly sent scouts out to the San Mames to keep close tabs on Herrera’s form in this campaign, with the player having featured in ten matches for Athletic in La Liga so far, although the player has still to even register a single goal or contribute an assist either for his team in that time.