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This story has been reproduced from today's media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.
Liverpool are unwilling to pay Iker Muniain's £36m release clause to ensure the Athletic Bilbao player follows new Manchester United signing Ander Herrera to England.
Athletic Bilbao are optimistic that they will now be able to hold onto Muniain having let Herrera join United in a £29m deal.
Indeed, the Basque club now want to sign Muniain to a new contract that will see him remain at the club until at least 2018.
But Liverpool have a longstanding interest in the player, who made his debut for Bilbao as a 16-year-old and is still just 21.
And until Muniain puts pen to paper on a new contract he can, in theory, be had for £36m - although Bilbao failed to honour Herrera's clause last week and made the player buy the contract out himself.
Liverpool have so far been resistant to meet that figure, although reports in Spain suggest that the Anfield club are still interested in the player.
However, it seems that neither Bilbao or Muniain is keen on a move unless that fee is met.
It is suggested that the player wants to continue his career in Spain and both parties are optimistic a new deal could be signed by the start of pre-season training on July 7.
Nevertheless, Muniain remains very close friends with Herrera and may yet be persuaded to make the move to the Premier League if Liverpool decide to increase their bid in the next week or so.
Source: Daily Express
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