Andreas Pereira snubbed Erik ten Hag talks in order to force transfer away from Man Utd
- Product of Old Trafford academy system
- Never guaranteed games for Red Devils
- Thriving after switch to Fulham
WHAT HAPPENED? The Belgium-born Brazil international is a product of the Red Devils’ famed academy system and took in 75 appearances for the Premier League heavyweights during his time at Old Trafford. He was, however, rarely a guaranteed starter and – having spent time out on loan at Lazio and Flamengo – decided in the last summer window that he needed a fresh start, regardless of what an incoming coach in Manchester may have thought.
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WHAT THEY SAID: Pereira, who linked up with Fulham in a £10 million ($12m) deal, has told ESPN of making sure that he was not talked into remaining at Old Trafford: “I didn’t speak with Ten Hag. I know him because I worked with him at PSV but I was determined in my head and maybe if I spoke with the manager again I would stay. In my head I was thinking ‘I need to go, I need to feel confident and play’ and that’s what I did.
“At United I had a lot of memories; good memories, bad memories. It’s been 10 years at the club. I arrived when I was 16 so, you know, a young boy. It was an amazing ride but I got to the stage where I thought maybe it was best not to stay. I wanted to feel more loved and I wanted to play every game. What Fulham offered me and what [manager] Marco [Silva] offered me, it was the perfect opportunity.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Pereira, who has started all 27 of Fulham’s Premier League games this season, is set to return to Manchester on Sunday for a FA Cup quarter-final clash with United. He has said of that reunion: “I’ll have mixed emotions. It’s a difficult game but I’m happy to play against Manchester United. It will be my first time back and feeling that atmosphere. I’ve never been there as a visitor so it will be something new. They have a lot of confidence. They’re playing really, really well but sometimes when you’re that confident it’s not good as well. We know we have to work very, very hard to win against them but we will do everything and try to play the perfect game.”
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WHAT NEXT? Pereira’s solitary cap for Brazil was earned back in 2018 but his form this season, with Fulham sat ninth in the English top-flight table, could allow him to come into contention for an international recall at some stage.