Belfast Telegraph

Pereira giving his all to show he can play major role for United

By Simon Peach

Andreas Pereira believes he is proving his worth to Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho. Having spent last season gaining experience with La Liga side Granada, the 21-year-old midfielder returned to Old Trafford looking to force his way into the first team.

Pereira has done his hopes no harm with some impressive performances on United's American pre-season tour, featuring in all five matches and impressing when starting against Real Madrid.

"I think it is going well," he said. "I am doing my best, I want to get into the team this season.

"I want to help my team and hopefully we can achieve a lot."

Pereira came off the bench as United suffered their first defeat of pre-season, with Neymar's first-half strike enough to secure Barcelona a 1-0 win in the International Champions Cup.

"It was a good test," he said. "It was good for us, we're in preparation, so we will definitely use that in (proper) competition.

"I think it works you harder, you get more focus for the games. It's a good test for us, as well for them, because we're a big team too.

"It's a great test for us, how to defend against players like that and definitely we will use this because we are in the Champions League this season.

"We have to know what we have to do against them now when we play against them."

Meanwhile, Juventus have turned their attention to Paris Saint-Germain's Blaise Matuidi as they look to sign a defensive midfielder, further clearing United's path for Chelsea's Nemanja Matic.

The Italian champions have been willing to rival United in the pursuit of the 28-year-old Serbian since it became apparent Antonio Conte was willing to sell after the signing of Monaco's Tiemoue Bakayoko, and the Stamford Bridge hierarchy would much prefer to sell abroad.

Matic has made it aware to the parties that his first preference is Old Trafford, however, and that has led to Juventus reviving their interest in Matuidi.

He would be significantly cheaper than Matic, although there is currently a £10m difference between their £15m valuation of Matuidi and PSG.

Mourinho wants to secure Matic for the start of the season, having initially requested for him to arrive before the pre-season tour of the United States.

And RB Leipzig winger Emil Forsberg has questioned speculation linking him with a move away and suggested that he expects to stay with the Bundesliga runners-up.

Forsberg responded with incredulity when asked about speculation linking him with moves to some of European football's top clubs, including AC Milan and United.

The 25-year-old had previously described Milan as a "fantastic" club and an "interesting project", while reports in Italy earlier this week linked him with Old Trafford.

Addressing his comments about Milan, Forsberg said: "I only answered a journalist's question. I would have given the same answer for Bayern Munich.

"Milan is one of the biggest clubs in the world, along with Real (Madrid), Barcelona or Manchester United."

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