As confirmed by the club’s official website, Serie A outfit Lazio have signed Manchester United’s Brazilian midfielder Andreas Pereira on a season-long loan.
The 24-year-old started out at the academy of Belgian outfit Lommel United and then spent a few years with the PSV Eindhoven youth academy before signing for Manchester United in 2011. Pereira made his first-team debut for the Red Devils in 2014 but had to wait for another four years to become a regular in the side.
After loan spells in Spain with Granada and Valencia, Pereira became a first-team regular at Old Trafford during the 2018/19 campaign and continued to feature prominently in the early parts of the 2019/20 season as well. However, his game time took a huge hit following the signing of Bruno Fernandes in the January transfer window.
The one-time capped Brazilian international hardly featured for the 20-time English champions post lockdown and did not make the matchday squad even once since the new campaign started. And the midfielder has now left Manchester United for Lazio in search of regular playing time.
Pereira becomes the latest Manchester United player to leave the club on a temporary deal. James Garner and Dylan Levitt have joined Watford and Charlton Athletic, respectively, while Tahith Chong signed for Werder Bremen on a year-long loan stint. Matej Kovar and Joel Pereira have also left on a temporary basis, joining Swindon Town and Huddersfield Town respectively.
Speaking of Pereira’s exit, Solskjaer said, “Yes, definitely. They’re a big club, Lazio. Andreas needs to play regularly. He started last season really well and played loads of games.”
“You could see the confidence growing and see him developing but, after we signed Bruno, that position that Andy played in was taken because Bruno came in and had such an impact. We decided this is what was best for Andreas.”
The Daily Mail reports that Pereira has joined the Italian capital club on loan initially, but the deal can be made permanent next year for a transfer fee of £24.5 million.
The report further adds that more exits are likely to follow, with fringe players like Chris Smalling, Marcos Rojo and Sergio Romero also likely to leave Manchester United. In addition, winger Daniel James, who is back on the radars of Leeds United, could also be allowed to leave.