Manchester United youngster responds to criticism from Jose Mourinho

Andreas Pereira has responded to Jose Mourinho’s disapproval of his decision to join Valencia on loan for the 2017/18 season, noting that the Portuguese’s demand for him to stay serves as a positive sign.

The 21-year-old enjoyed a productive loan spell with Granada in La Liga last season, making a total of 37 appearances and impressing with his fluid approach on the ball, featuring in central midfield, out wide and at No.10 during various points throughout the campaign. He returned to Manchester United for their pre-season tour of the United States over the summer and further outlined his creative zeal to Mourinho with a series of positive displays.

It was initially thought that Pereira, in turn, would stay at Old Trafford and fight for his place under Mourinho this season, but an offer from new Valencia boss Marcelino appeared too good to refuse. And the youngster, despite Mourinho’s efforts to block the move, eventually joined Los Che on a season-long loan with no option to buy on deadline day earlier this month. His manager was quick to condemn Pereira’s decision to move back to La Liga instead of fighting for a starting place at United.

“Andreas Pereira was a personal decision that I don’t agree with,” Mourinho said. “A decision I don’t think honestly I don’t think is the best decision for him, a decision that disappoints me a little bit, because I think he has the potential to be here fighting for a position, for opportunities, and fighting to be a Manchester United player.

“I think his decision can be considered a decision of a young player who wants to play every weekend but can also be considered a decision by a young player that is not ready to fight for something difficult and it’s difficult to play in the Manchester United midfield.

“You have to be ready to fight for a position and I am a bit disappointed that he left. But okay, it was his decision, I open the door for his decision, he has a long-term contract, we have the option to bring him back on January 1, so we have that situation under control. It is not a drama but is a decision that disappoints me a little bit.”

But Pereira, speaking to Spanish media outlet Marca, made it clear that he didn’t harbour any negative feelings towards Mourinho for his comments and reiterated his desire to work hard at Valencia.

“It did not hurt,” he said. “I talked to him before coming here. On the one hand I’m happy because he loves me and if he didn’t think I was a good player he would not have wanted me to stay. So I think on the bright side.

“If I thought negative it might hurt, but for me it’s a good thing. I talked to him before coming here and I want to work hard and stay all year. I’m focused here.”

The Brazilian added that he wasn’t aware of a clause in his loan contract that enables United to recall him once the January transfer window opens.

“I do not know,” he said. “That is something between clubs. I was told I was going to play here for a year and I want to be here for a year. I do not know about that clause.”

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