Athletic Bilbao star Ander Herrera is a target for Manchester United, but a deal has looked unlikely for the last couple of days. Athletic rejected a bid of €27 million and told United that he will not be leaving unless his release clause of €36 million is met. On Sunday, manager Ernesto Valverde said he expected to hang on to Herrera this fall.
Various reports guessed that United was unwilling to pay the transfer clause, but there's been a new development in the deal, according to El Mundo. They say that Herrera is willing to lower his wage demands, which would make it easier for United to stomach paying his full release clause.
Here's the important part of that article, translated from the original Spanish.
Manchester United are wondering if it's worth paying more than €36m ... On Sunday, that possibility seemed almost discarded. However, a new avenue to a deal opened today. Herrera, according to sources familiar with the negotiations, would be willing to lower his wage demands (about €4m a year, according to various sources) help the transfer go through ... The player will not force his departure, but he finds the chance to play for United irresistible.
United are already negotiating for Marouane Fellaini, but they're thin enough in midfield (and sitting on enough money) that this probably isn't an either-or proposition. Fellaini and Herrera would both get playing time at United and could feisably fit into the same midfield together.
Update: And it looks like they've activated that release clause.
United have offered 36 for Herrera— Guillem Balague (@GuillemBalague) September 2, 2013