Manchester United FC have made Athletic Club midfielder Ander Herrera the first signing of the Louis van Gaal era.
Although Athletic stated earlier on Thursday that they had rejected a €36m offer from United for Herrera, the transfer has now been completed, with the former Real Zaragoza player moving to Old Trafford on a four-year contract.
Herrera will also have the option of a further 12 months with United, for whom the 24-year-old is the first major acquisition since the announcement that Van Gaal would take the reins upon concluding his FIFA World Cup mission with the Netherlands.
The former Spanish Under-21 international leaves Bilbao after three seasons in which he helped Athletic reach the 2012 UEFA Europa League final – via home and away victories over United in the last 16 – and finish fourth in the 2013/14 Liga. He made 94 top-flight appearances for the Leones, scoring seven goals, following his 2011 arrival from Zaragoza.
Herrera said: "Signing for Manchester United is a dream come true. I have played at Old Trafford for Athletic in the Europa League and it was one of the highlights of my career. I have joined United to do all I can to help the team reach the club's objectives. I will never forget my time with Athletic and I'd like to thank the fans and staff for all their support and, above all, wish my fantastic former team-mates all the best for the future."
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