Sid Lowe, reporting for the Guardian on the “failed” Herrera bid by Manchester United:
Faced with the uncertainty and potentially extra costs involved in tax, United decided not to proceed, thereby forcing Herrera to stay in Spain, the sources state. United had told the midfielder to be prepared in the event of a deal going through. Once the deal collapsed, United claimed that the three men had nothing to do with them.
That is likely. However, it seems even likelier that Herrera was United’s backup if Fellaini’s move failed to materialize. The source is from a Spanish blog, http://enentredicho.wordpress.com/2013/09/03/caso-herrera-disculpas-rectificacion-y-nuevos-datos/, but the translation from Redcafe.net:
From what he’s now been told, we were the ones who were stalling, ultimately not giving the lawyers the power to go ahead and close the deal because we had finally done the deal on Fellaini instead. We then briefed the UK press with the idea that the lawyers had nothing to do with us.
That sounds more realistic. It doesn’t make United look any better and is a pretty lousy move, or at least as cold-hearted a business move as any I’ve seen.