Bilbao's Herrera caught up in hoax 'United' offer

LONDON Tue Sep 3, 2013 12:41am BST

Athletic Bilbao's Ander Herrera kicks the ball during a training session on the eve of their Europa League final match against Atletico Madrid at the National Arena stadium in Bucharest May 8, 2012. REUTERS/Bogdan Cristel

Athletic Bilbao's Ander Herrera kicks the ball during a training session on the eve of their Europa League final match against Atletico Madrid at the National Arena stadium in Bucharest May 8, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Bogdan Cristel

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LONDON (Reuters) - Athletic Bilbao midfielder Ander Herrera's proposed $47.5 million (30.5 million pounds) move to Manchester United turned out to be a hoax after three men attempting to broker the deal were labelled imposters, British media reported on Monday.

"Reports in Spain claim three men dressed in black suits and claiming to be United "representatives" spent an hour at the La Liga offices attempting to negotiate a deal. The move collapsed at the 11th hour," the BBC reported on the final day of the transfer window on Monday.

"Confirmation from Manchester United that three men who reportedly attempted to negotiate a deal to sign Ander Herrera were not acting on behalf of the Premier League champions and were... imposters," the BBC report added.

The Basque club last week rejected an offer which Spanish newspapers reported at $40 million from United for the 24-year-old Herrera, with the club's president Josu Urrutia adamant the Premier League side had to meet a $47.5 million buyout clause.

(Writing by Pritha Sarkar, editing by Ken Ferris)

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