Athletic Bilbao: 'We thought Ander Herrera would stay'

Ander Herrera promised that he would stay at the club, according to Athletic Bilbao's president Josu Urrutia.

Athletic Bilbao president Josu Urrutia has insisted that new Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera had promised the club that he would not leave this summer.

Urrutia said that Herrera told the club he was looking to stay long-term and was happy at Bilbao, but he then agreed to sign for United in the £29m deal.

"For us, Ander Herrera was a player we expected to stay at the club," ITV Sport quotes Urrutia as saying. "According to what he said, Ander was delighted to be here and his only aspiration was to stay here."

Herrera signed for Bilbao in 2011 from Real Zaragoza.

Athletic's Ander Herrera in action against Sparta Prague on October 12, 2012
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