By DAN KARELL
Long-time Manchester United target Ander Herrera could finally be making his move to Old Trafford.
Reports out of Spain and England have intensified in the last 24 hours as Man United are set to pay Herrera’s €36 million buy-out clause from his club Athletic Bilbao. The deal for the central midfielder could be announced as soon as Wednesday, as Netherlands and Man United coach-in-waiting Louis Van Gaal has approved the transfer.
Herrera is coming off another solid season for Bilbao, scoring five goals and adding five assists as Bilbao finished in fourth place and qualified for the UEFA Champions League. Herrera’s wages however are set to be boosted to nearly €3 million per season, according to Marca.
Herrera nearly completed a move to Man United on deadline day last September but Man United were not willing to pay the buy-out clause and the club were further embarrassed by agents pretending to represent the English club arriving at the Spanish Football Federation’s headquarters to negotiate a transfer.
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BARCELONA EYE BAYERN’S KROOS
Barcelona have begun their search for a replacement for Xavi Hernandez in central midfield and it looks like one of their top targets is Bayern Munich midfielder Toni Kroos.
The German international is reportedly in the middle of an intense transfer battle between Manchester United and Real Madrid right now but Barcelona have entered the fray as well, according to a report from German newspaper Kicker. Barca have even gone so far as to make a written offer to Kroos’ agent, who issued a “no comment” instead of a straight denial when asked about the Barcelona interest.
Barcelona see Kroos as a replacement for Xavi, who is leaving the Catalan club this summer on a free transfer.
Kroos has continued to say that he will decide his future after the World Cup, but with his contract at Bayern expiring in 2015, it’s likely that he’ll either move this summer or sign an extension with the German giants.
BUNDESLIGA RELEASE 2014/2015 FIXTURE LIST
Pep Guardiola and Bayern Munich will begin their defense of the Bundesliga title on August 22 against VfL Wolfsburg.
The Bundesliga have released the schedule for their upcoming season, featuring an opening round match against Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen and a second-week showdown between Bayern and Schalke.
One of the first big derby’s of the season takes place in week six as Schalke takes on Dortmund, and then Dortmund travel to Bayern in week ten for Germany’s most-anticipated match of the early season.
For a full look at the upcoming Bundesliga schedule, click here.
Belgium manager Marc Wilmots accidentally let slip that goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois will return to Chelsea for the upcoming season. (REPORT)
Sunderland have contacted Chelsea to see if they can acquire French youngster Kurt Zouma on a season-long loan. (REPORT)
Chelsea midfielder Oscar has admitted he’s been contacted by Paris Saint-Germain but that he’s staying with the London club. (REPORT)
Belgium and Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen has suffered a pulled hamstring and will miss six to seven days, though he could return to action for the knockout stages. (REPORT)
Real Sociedad have signed Carlos Vela to a contract extension through 2018 and picked up the other half of his image rights from Arsenal for €11 million plus €5 million in add ons.
Helena Costa will not become the first ever female coach in French soccer, after making a sudden decision not to take the head coaching post at Clermont. (REPORT)
What do you think of these reports? Do you expect to see Herrera start for Man United next season? Glad they’re signing a central midfielder? Do you see Kroos moving to Spain?
Share your thoughts below.