Andreas Pereira interview: ‘I didn’t speak with Ten Hag’ before Man United exit
Andreas Pereira is looking forward to returning to Manchester United on Sunday, but it’s time to leave in the summer. He was so convinced that he should move on after 10 years of inactivity at Old Trafford that he shied away from personal talks with Erik ten Hag, fearing that the new manager could persuade him to stay.
Ten Hag knew all about Pereira when he was manager at PSV Eindhoven and there were talks between director of football John Murtaugh and Pereira’s representatives to get to know the midfielder better during the pre-season tour of Thailand and Australia.
But Pereira resisted the temptation to listen to what Ten Hag had to say, and instead asked to leave. He has made the decision and after six months of regular play for a Fulham team that has so far surprised in the Premier League this season, he is pleased with his decision. He will return to Old Trafford on Sunday to take part in Fulham’s first FA Cup quarter-final.live on Sportzshala+ at 12:30 pm ET) for more than a decade.
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“I didn’t talk to Ten Hag,” Pereira told Sportzshala. “I know him because I worked with him at PSV but I was determined in my head and maybe if I talked to the manager again I would stay. In my head I was thinking, “I need to leave, I need to feel confident and play.” ‘ and this is what I did.
“I had a lot of memories at United, good memories, bad memories. I spent 10 years at the club. where I thought it might be better not to stay.
“I wanted to feel more loved and wanted to play in every match. What did Fulham offer me and what [manager] Marco [Silva] offered me, it was a great opportunity.”
United’s staff, who had worked at the club long before Ten Hag, were already well aware of Pereira’s stubborn nature. In 2017, he defied José Mourinho’s desire to keep him at the club and instead insisted on joining Valencia on loan. He admitted at the time that he was “nervous” about meeting Mourinho but insisted he had no regrets.
“It was very good for me because I played a lot of games in different leagues in Spain and Italy,” he says. “I learned a lot of new things that I might not have learned in England. It made me a more complete player. Of course, you have a bad side too, because you don’t stay in one place, but every year I felt good and my goal was to return to Manchester United.
A temporary move to Valencia was one of four loans during his time at Old Trafford, along with spells at Granada, Lazio and Flamengo. He was so impressive at Flamengo that when United sent scouts to watch Joao Gomes — now with Wolverhampton Wanderers — they reported that Pereira was the best player on the Brazilian team.
Clubs in Spain, Italy and Germany showed interest last summer, but Pereira, now 27, was determined to prove he could thrive in the Premier League. A key part of Fulham’s midfield under Silva, he is sixth in the league in assists.
“I feel at home here and everything has been great so far,” Pereira said. “When I first came here, they told me that every year in the Premier League they would lose. The main goal was to stay in the Premier League but I spoke to the manager and he told me what he wanted to achieve and how he wanted to play.
“He was very ambitious, and I really liked it. When we had five games in the season, we realized that we could do something great with the team, and it was amazing. He is very, very strong and a great guy. my football, so it was amazing.”
Pereira will reunite with old friends on Sunday, taking on former United academy teammate Marcus Rashford. Like Pereira, Rashford is also having his best season as a professional, scoring a career-best 26 goals.
“I’ve known Marcus for a very, very long time,” Pereira said. “He is a great guy and I think the difference this season is that the coach has shown a lot of faith in him and has given him a lot of confidence just by letting him play his game. That’s what he does.”
“He shows what he can do on the pitch, he has no injuries and enjoys every moment. You can see it in the way he plays. It’s not good for us, but we have to try to deal with it.”
Pereira’s first encounter with United this season ended in a narrow defeat at Craven Cottage after Alejandro Garnacho scored the last-minute winner on the final weekend before the World Cup break. Fulham’s form since the restart has propelled them to eighth in the table and just three points clear of the top six.
A victory over United will bring the first FA Cup semi-final since 2002 and Pereira believes his new team could send shockwaves to his old home.
“I will have mixed feelings,” Pereira said. “It’s a tough game, but I’m happy to play against Manchester United. I will be back for the first time and feel this atmosphere. I have never been there as a guest, so this will be something new. .
“They play very, very well, but sometimes when you’re so sure, it’s not very good either. We know that we have to work very, very hard to beat them, but we will do our best and try to show the perfect game.” “