Manchester United saw their pursuit of Athletic Bilbao midfielder Ander Herrera end in failure, with a deal falling down late in the transfer window.
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Despite United initially agreeing to pay the €36 million required to bring in the midfielder, sources have said that a series of technical issues because of Spanish tax laws left the English champions scrambling to re-negotiate.
It is understood that, as a consequence of that red tape, the English champions missed out because of a figure of around €6 million.
United had a squad number assigned for the player and personal terms agreed, with Herrera even agreeing to take a pay-cut. Despite the failure, it seems likely United will go back in for the 24-year-old in January.
Only adding to the sense of confusion, a controversy has arisen over three figures who attempted to interfere in the deal but have been described by sources as "imposters".