Athletic Bilbao have rejected Manchester United's £28.7million bid for Ander Herrera as their political posturing over his departure kicks in.

United are confident, having met Herrera's contracted buy-out clause on Tuesday, that the transfer will proceed and know that the player wants to join.

However, in similar fashion to the saga that surrounded Bayern Munich's purchase of Javi Martinez in August 2012, Bilbao have made it known to their supporters that they do not wish to accept Herrera's departure so readily.

The 24-year-old is regarded as one of Athletic's best players and the proud Basque club cannot lose face among its supporters.

The Spanish club put a short statement on their website on Thursday morning saying that the bid had been rejected.