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Joel Pereira is a target for a number of La Liga and Serie A clubs this summer – reports

Manchester United goalkeeper Joel Pereira is wanted by Spanish and Italian clubs this summer according to ESPN FC. The 21-year-old has been utilised as United third choice goalkeeper over the last season, playing minimal amounts of football throughout the season. In order to develop in the way the player and the club will desire, another loan spell is going to be an option for the U21 Portugal international.

Spanish sides Real Betis, Sevilla and Real Sociedad, along with Italian sides Torino, Atalanta, and Fiorentina are all said to be interested in Pereira this summer. ESPN FC have claimed that sources have told them that United have received enquiries about a possible loan move for the player. Pereira is keen on playing more first team football and is open to the right move ahead of the new season.

Since joining the club in 2012 and coming through the ranks at United, Pereira had spent time on loan with both Rochdale and Belenenses, which have helped to improve him as a goalkeeper but if he has plans to take on David De Gea and Sergio Romero, he will need to get some more first team action under his belt.

Mourinho is keen on keeping three senior goalkeepers at the club and with Dean Henderson’s contract expiring this summer, the Portuguese manager may need to delve into the transfer market this summer, bringing in another goalkeeper, unless he sees potential in another young player in the youth ranks – Kieran O’Hara could be in for a shout, as could Sam Johnstone.

United will embark on their pre-season tour of the United States of America this summer with matches against Club America and San Jose Earthquakes, before taking part in the International Champions Cup, where they will face AC Milan, Liverpool, and Real Madrid. De Gea may miss part or much of the tour because of the FIFA World Cup, Romero will miss the World Cup through injury and may miss pre-season too, which will mean Mourinho will need goalkeepers for his squad in the USA.

Pereira could be held back until De Gea and/or Romero are able to play for the club again, the former will need a rest after Spain exit or even win the World Cup this summer, meaning he could miss the entire pre-season tour. Johnstone will reportedly return to the Old Trafford club in July after his season ended at the weekend after Aston Villa were resigned to play another season in the Championship after Fulham beat them in the play-off final. Therefore he could be a part of the tour before his future is sorted out.

The loan spell will be good for Pereira, who spent the season seldom playing any first team football, which despite being good for his development in the fact he will have been training alongside both De Gea and Romero, the fact he played just 12 minutes of competitive football, coming on for Romero in the 4-1 Carabao Cup victory over Burton Albion back in September 2017. Mourinho seems to have a lot of interest in Pereira, which could suggest he wants him to remain at the club, only head out on loan to gain more experience, which in either La Liga or Serie A would be good for him.

Pereira signed a new contract last summer, which will keep him at the club until the summer of 2021 with a clause for a further 12-months which could be added at any time. Speaking to the official Manchester United website at the time the contract was signed, Pereira said:

“I have been at United for a number of years now and since the first day here I have enjoyed every minute. Over the last season I feel I have made great progress as a goalkeeper and this will stand me in good stead for continuing my development as a Manchester United player.

“There have been many memorable moments for me at this club; however, making my debut for the first team at Old Trafford was unbelievable for me and my family. I want to thank the manager and his coaching team for the help and guidance they have given me and I look forward to playing a part in the squad for many years to come.”

Mourinho also spoke about Pereira on the signing of his new contract, saying:

“Joel progressed really well during the course of the last season through hard work and commitment every day in training. I know I have said this before but I really do believe, if he continues his development and continues to work hard, he really can become the best Portuguese goalkeeper of the next generation. Well done Joel.”

The fact that Pereira has stated that he is looking forward to playing a part in the squad for many years to come, suggests that it is at United where his future lies. The fact he has to break through both Romero and De Gea is going to be a big task for him. There is no reason why he cannot be promoted as the number two goalkeeper once Romero has left the club, although his contract expires in the summer of 2021, with a further 12-month clause added. It would all depend on whether Romero sees himself as a number two in future, which may see him leave the club.

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