Herrera recalls ‘transfer imposters’ story

Wednesday 21 December 2022 10:00

Ander Herrera is remembered very fondly for his stint at Manchester United between 2014 and 2019, although there was a delay in him becoming a Red.

The Spanish midfielder always gave 100 per cent for the shirt, and also scored some important goals and provided key assists along the way.

Before his 2014 move to United, Ander very nearly signed for the club one year prior. Then-manager David Moyes was eager to add Herrera to his ranks, and had started negotiations with Athletic Club in Bilbao.

But what followed was a media circus of speculation, involving mysterious agents who were later confirmed to be ‘transfer imposters,’ who claimed to be brokering a deal on the midfielder’s behalf.

In his UTD Podcast, set against the backdrop of Athletic Club’s San Mames Stadium, where Herrera now plies his trade once more, the 33-year-old gives a behind-the-scenes look at that saga.

When 'imposters' jumped on Herrera's transfer Video

When 'imposters' jumped on Herrera's transfer

In his UTD Podcast, Ander recalls when transfer 'imposters' attempted to broker a move to United in 2013...

“I didn’t even know them,” he said of the legal advisers who claimed to be representing him.

“I know my lawyers and I know my agent. It is the same agent as when I was 18. They were trying to make easy money – I don’t know how.

“I think they wanted to be there if the negotiation was successful, they wanted everyone to think that they were the ones who did it and, maybe after that, they can have more players or more negotiations.

“But I didn’t even know them, honestly. It was funny because some of my friends say: ‘Your lawyers are in La Liga and they are going to pay the money,’ and I said: ‘No, they are not my lawyers. I do not know them.’”

Herrera ended up waiting a further year to sign for United, when Louis van Gaal was in charge of the Reds.

Despite his desire to move to the Theatre of Dreams, Ander maintains that he didn’t try to push the transfer through.

“My [buy-out] clause was high, [and] at that time [2013], Manchester United decided to sign another midfielder and I was happy here [at Bilbao] as well.

“I didn’t put pressure on the club because I was really happy here. This is a club where you really feel fulfilled, and I just continued playing my game.

Ander Herrera – “I have United in my heart”


UTD Podcast co-hosts Helen Evans and Sam Homewood travelled to Bilbao, Spain, to catch up with Ander Herrera, whose honesty and passion led to one of our best-ever episodes. The former Reds midfielder speaks fondly about his childhood as the son of a professional footballer and sporting director, before recounting his first spell as an Athletic Club player – which included their famous Europa League victories over Sir Alex Ferguson’s United in 2011/12. Herrera describes his 2014 transfer to Old Trafford in amazing detail and dissects his five popular seasons as a Red, offering amazing observations of former managers Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer along the way. Then comes the touching moment he breaks down in tears, when discussing his difficult decision to leave the club for Paris Saint-Germain in 2019. After three seasons in France, Ander is back in the Basque country with his beloved Athletic Club and their magnificent San Mames Stadium is the backdrop for our unmissable conversation. Remember, as well as listening, you can watch it in full by tapping the camera button on your podcast screen. Enjoy!

“I just tried to continue improving and, one year after, when van Gaal signed for the club, they called me again and they said to me that they were willing to pay my clause. And I was going to become a Manchester United player.”

The rest is, as they say, history. The midfielder spent four seasons at Old Trafford, being relied upon by the likes of Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, in addition to van Gaal.

Herrera’s episode of the UTD Podcast is now available, in both audio and video forms. It was released at 17:00 GMT on Monday, and you can listen to it via the United App, ManUtd.com and MUTV, as well as your usual podcast providers.

Tune in now to hear more brilliant stories about Ander’s United career. You really don’t want to miss it!