Manchester United attacking midfielder Andreas Pereira is being chased by Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri according to The Sun. The Italian manager attempted to get the 20-year-old Belgian-born Brazilian in January but was thwarted by then United manager Louis van Gaal who wanted the player to strengthen his squad, despite not appearing in the first team since the 5-1 victory over Midtjylland at Old Trafford in the UEFA Europa League on the 25th February 2016. Ranieri wants the Brazilian to fortify his squad for their first attempt in the UEFA Champions League, which will start in September. The Sun state that they have spoken to a Manchester United source, who said:
“We had lots of clubs wanting to take Andreas on loan last season.
“He is highly rated at Old Trafford and we want to keep him. There have been clubs ringing over the summer asking about his situation.”
Leicester City seem to have an obsession with Manchester United, having many former United players in their squad – now they seem to want to take that one step further. Leicester already has Richie De Laet, Danny Drinkwater, Matty James, Tom Lawrence, Danny Simpson, and now Ron-Robert Zieler in their first team, adding Pereira will certainly give Leicester a United core, with many players coming through the club’s Academy together, which could be one of the reasons why Leicester took advantage in the race to win the Premier League last season. Leicester obviously feel that bringing in players who have come through an Academy together will give the squad a good start as many of them will have been in the same Academy group at United, especially as De Laet, Drinkwater and James all left the club in the same year; 2012 and both Zieler and Simpson left in 2010, with Lawrence leaving in 2014.
Pereira will reportedly speak to Jose Mourinho this week about playing for Brazil during the Olympics, with the football tournament starting on the 5th August, just two days before the FA Community Shield, which will see United go head to head with Leicester City at Wembley. Mourinho will most likely take Pereira on the pre-season tour of China, with United taking on Borussia Dortmund and Manchester City – Pereira will then head to Brazil from there to meet up with his team-mates, should he be granted permission to play for his country that is, which may not be a problem. Pereira is said to want his future sorted before embarking on the pre-season tour of China. He has the talent to succeed at United, but the mentality, in my opinion, is the main thing holding him back.
Whilst playing for the U21’s last season under Warren Joyce, Pereira and Januzaj were moaned at by Joyce for attempting to score from corners on more than one occasion. Having the skill to beat your opponent is all well and good, but showboating in order to beat them is not all that professional. If this had happened under Sir Alex Ferguson, it would have stopped instantly after a word from the gaffer, but even though Joyce had told both Pereira and Januzaj, they continued, which led to more shouting from the coach. In my mind, this is blatant disrespect. To have the skills to get you through an Academy such as United’s is great, but to show disrespect to teammates, opposition and coaches is a problem which needs to be nipped in the bud. Whilst Pereira could go a long way at United, at the same time he could end up nowhere too. There are no guarantees to players with talent, look at Ravel Morrison – one of the best at the club in his age range and now struggling to find a career in Italy after failing at West Ham United and on periods away from the club on loan with Birmingham City, Queens Park Rangers, and Cardiff City.
Whilst Pereira may not have the chequered history Morrison had, petulance is not something that many managers will put up with, and for that, Pereira needs to fight for a chance in the first team, then should that chance come to him – take the chance and show what he can do. Pereira might be an attacking midfielder, his best position is as a number ten, rather than playing in a wing/wide position behind a lone striker. That currently puts him behind Juan Mata, Wayne Rooney, and even Henrikh Mkhitaryan as they are all much better playing in a number ten role – something which may suggest Pereira will fail at Manchester United, or need to fins a secondary position he is stronger in. Adapting in football is something that has to happen now and then, Gary Neville had to adapt when Sir Alex Ferguson said he would not make it as a central defender, setting him up as a right-back, a position he did well in, even captaining the club. Pereira needs to learn a lot from his manager and coaches, probably do things they suggest, whether he likes it or not.