Atletico only recently tied their star player down to a new long-term deal at the Calderon, a contract that is also understood to contain a €60m euro buyout clause in it too.
New Manchester United head coach David Moyes has decided to end his long-running interest in Athletic Bilbao midfielder Ander Herrera, with the Scot now switching his focus towards highly rated Atletico de Madrid youngster Koke instead in the January transfer window.
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The Premier League champions made a much-publicised move for the Basque on transfer deadline day last summer, only for the big-money transfer to collapse at the very last minute owing to the fact the north-west giants did not have all the correct paperwork with them, despite the Red Devils having been prepared to trigger Herrera’s £31m release clause in his contract at San Mames.
However, at the time Moyes was believed to have been quick to reassure the 24-year-old that his dream move to Old Trafford would still take place as soon as the winter transfer window opened again for business at the start of 2014.
But the United manager has also been keeping close tabs on Herrera’s form for Bilbao in the first half of this campaign, as have his scouts too, and the feeling around the Theatre of Dreams now is that the club may have enjoyed a lucky escape last summer in failing to sign the player, with the midfielder’s displays in the centre of the park for his club having generally been lacklustre and uninspired.
In fact, Herrera has not even managed to find the back of the net at all in any of his 15 matches so far in all competitions for Bilbao, while he has also failed to create any strikes for his team-mates either, and with Moyes in particular looking for a midfielder who can brings both goals and creativity going forward, the United boss has now decided to drop his interest in the Basque.
Instead, however, Moyes has opted to switch his focus to another up-and-coming La Liga-based goalscoring midfielder in the form of Atleti’s newly capped Spain international, a player who is being closely monitored by a whole host of big-name clubs throughout the Continent at present after recently emerging at the Vincente Calderon under the management of Diego Simeone.
And with the capital-based outfit known to be a selling club over the years, United and Moyes are said to be very confident of being able to agree a deal with Atletico for their 21-year-old, who has a contract in Madrid until June 2018, before the transfer window slams shut for the season on Jan 31.
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