Manchester United risk losing Brazilian midfielder Andreas Pereira on a free transfer after French champions Paris Saint-Germain opened talks over a potential deal for the 19-year-old.
The Brazil Under-20 international is free to negotiate with overseas clubs, with his current Manchester United contract set to expire at the end of the season.
And the Red Devils now find themselves locked in battle with PSG to secure the Belgium-born midfielder’s services beyond the 2014-15 campaign.
Rabiot to make room for Pereira?
News that PSG have opened talks to sign Pereira on a free transfer comes courtesy of respected French publication L’Equipe - and brought to our attention by the Daily Star.
The report adds that PSG boss Laurent Blanc is preparing to make room for Pereira’s possible arrival by arranging a loan deal for France Under-21 international Adrien Rabiot, who is believed to be high on Tottenham’s radar.
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Clement Chantome is also expected to leave the Parc des Princes for domestic rivals Bordeaux.
Pereira's lack of game time
United boss Louis van Gaal is keen to tie the midfielder down to a long-term deal, but may have his work cut out after only playing him in one match this season.
Pereira came on as a second-half substitute during August’s humiliating 4-0 Capital One Cup second round defeat to MK Dons - but was one of the few Manchester United players to emerge from the match with any credit.
Paul Pogba comparisons
Rated highly by coaches at Old Trafford, Pereira’s exit would bare striking similarities to the departure of Paul Pogba two-and-a-half years ago.
The French midfielder opted against signing a contract extension after being overlooked by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, and has since established his status as the best young central midfielder on the planet.
Pereira joined Manchester United’s youth ranks from PSV Eindhoven in 2011 following a personal visit from Ferguson, who made it his personal mission to secure the Brazilian starlet’s services.
But Van Gaal’s failure to tie Pereira down to a long-term deal earlier this season means Manchester United risk losing a player they have spent time and effort developing over the past four years.