I'm sure many of us thought we'd never see this day come, but rejoice for Manchester United have at last signed a central midfielder. Ander Herrera's sudden move from Athletic Bilbao is now officially official, with the 24-year-old signing a four-year deal with a further option for an extra year and apparently setting United back an initial £28.8 million.
United made a ham-fisted attempt to sign the Basque midfielder on the now infamous deadline day of last summer. That deal collapsed amid reports of imposters turning up to the Spanish league's offices purporting to represent United, when they were actually sports lawyers attempting to muscle in on the deal and earn themselves some cash in the process.
Ryan Giggs said:
"Ander is a fantastic young player, with great energy and creativity. We believe him to be one of the brightest young prospects in Spain and I am certain he will be a big hit with the United fans. I'm delighted he has made the decision to come to Manchester and play his part in the club's future. I'm looking forward to seeing him in action on our summer tour to America."
And as for the man himself...
"Signing for Manchester United is a dream come true. I have played at Old Trafford for Athletic Club in the UEFA Europa League and it was one of the highlights of my career so far. I have joined United to do all I can to help the team reach the club's objectives. Having arrived on Tuesday, I'm excited to now be living in Manchester and I can't wait for my first game in United's famous red shirt. I will never forget my time with Athletic Club and I'd like to thank the fans and staff for all their support and, above all, wish all my fantastic former team-mates all the best for the future."
Finally, United director Ed Woodward appears to have learned from the perils of leaving deals until the last minute, and has pretty impressively pulled this one off entirely under the radar. United get a talented young midfielder for a reasonable fee, and one whose dynamism and energy means he should be pretty well-suited to the Premier League. Let's hope he's the first of many.