Athletic Bilbao midfielder Ander Herrera, a reported target for Manchester United, is hoping to realise his dream of playing in the Champions League next season, which may mean he is better off staying at the San Mames.

The 24-year-old was a summer transfer window target for the Premier League champions as David Moyes strived to reinforce the midfield he had inherited, while the Red Devils manager was also reported to have scouted the player in January.

Manchester United were able to recruit Juan Mata last month in order to revive their stuttering season, although it is a real possibility that Old Trafford will be without top-level European football next term.

This could provide even more difficulty for Moyes in the transfer market, with Herrera - who has a release clause of £30 million in his contract - one of several potential target desperate to play in the Champions League sooner rather than later.

There is a good chance he could do that were he to remain in Bilbao, with Athletic sat in La Liga's coveted top four places and in a strong position to reach the promised land.

"Top four would be great but I don’t want to put a roof on things," he told Mundo Deportivo.

"I still think the dream is to play in the Champions League. I also think we have the capacity and potential to do it but we can’t forget where we came from.

"We had a very difficult, tumultuous year in which we didn’t live up to our potential.

"We are privileged to be how we are now but we cannot forget we came from the mud."

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