Athletic Bilbao attacker Ibai Gomez says he is impressed with how team-mate Ander Herrera has handled himself through a difficult week in which the midfielder had appeared set to move to Manchester United.
Herrera looked to be headed for Old Trafford on Monday’s transfer deadline day, but the transfer fell through with United either unwilling or unable to pay his €36 million release clause and the related taxes and charges.
The situation then took a farcical turn with reports of apparently unauthorised ‘impostors’ showing up at La Liga’s offices in Madrid to help push the transfer through -- a turn of events which has still to be fully explained.
The midfielder himself suggested on Wednesday afternoon that he might have been up for the move had United pushed hard enough to get him, but his team-mate now says no Athletic fans should have any concerns about the player's commitment to the cause.
"I listened to Ander and I have been talking to him," Ibai said. "He is relaxed, he has been very honest. I ask the fans not have any doubts about Ander. The team is very involved in this, it has been a difficult year. We all now need to row together, because that will help us to forget these matters."
Ibai said everyone in Los Leones’ squad was happy that Herrera was staying at San Mames.
"He is an Athletic player and as he said at no moment did he see himself elsewhere," he said. "We were relaxed and we are still relaxed. There is no doubt that Ander is an Athletic player. For us that is excellent, he is a great player and a great person, who helps us on and off the pitch."