Luke Shaw to undergo medical at Manchester United
Manchester United are on the verge of signing Southampton's England international Luke Shaw for £30million, after completing their protracted pursuit of Athletic Bilbao midfielder Ander Herrera.
Shaw is expected to travel up to Manchester for a medical on Friday following extensive talks between United and Southampton over the past 72 hours.
The 18-year-old has been one of United's priority targets since the end of the season but they have experienced strong resistance from Southampton, who are also facing the prospect of losing Adam Lallana to either Liverpool or Tottenham Hotspur.
United are growing increasingly confident of striking a deal in the next 24 hours, however, and Shaw could put the finishing touches to his move before the weekend.
Shaw, who made his World Cup debut against Costa Rica on Tuesday, has emerged as one of the most highly-rated youngsters in the Premier League and has also attracted interest from Chelsea, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.
United have been in negotiations with Southampton for almost two months but are hopeful of adding Shaw to the signing of Herrera.
United sealed a £28.5million deal for Herrera on Thursday, ending a long-running saga which appeared likely to be extended only hours before.
Bilbao were also tricky to negotiate with and the transfer briefly appeared to have been on the brink of collapse when the Basque club released a statement on their official website on Thursday morning to say they had rejected United’s offer.
Although that sparked reports United would be forced to raise their offer, the statement appears to have been little more than posturing by Bilbao, as they looked to persuade their own supporters they were fighting to hold on to Herrera.
Bilbao do not want to give the impression they are happy to cash in on their best players, which has been a frequent accusation in the past, and the statement was designed to show they were reluctant sellers.
United, though, have always been confident the deal would go through and Herrera has been in Manchester for the last 48 hours with his agent, even visiting the club’s Carrington training complex.
United’s only concern was making sure they completed negotiations before the end of the month, as the fee needed to activate the release clause would have risen to £32 million when he entered the final two years of his contract with Bilbao.
The former Spain Under-21 international had made up his mind he wanted to move to United at the start of the year and was as frustrated as anyone when the move collapsed because there was not enough time left in the January window to get all the necessary paperwork done.
Former United manager, David Moyes, recognised the need to improve the team’s midfield, but it will be successor Louis van Gaal who will benefit from Herrera’s arrival.
Despite the delay, United knew they had activated Herrera’s release clause and were confident the player would make it clear to Bilbao that he wanted to quit if they tried to block his departure.