Andreas Pereira situation shows United are still not good enough at offloading deadwood

Andreas Pereira looked all set to leave Manchester United and join Flamengo on a permanent basis but the deal is no longer on.

Brazilian outlet Esporte claim that Flamengo will now not buy the midfielder when his loan spell with the club ends at the end of the season.

The report claims that when Flamengo officials travelled to Europe in early February to meet with United and settle the purchase of Andreas, there was pressure from other vice-presidents not to approve the deal, as they thought the investment was risky.

Despite that, a deal to buy 75 per cent of Pereira for 10.5 million euros (£8.78 million) was agreed, documents exchanged, and the social media announcements prepared.

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But a legal issue arose, which stopped the deal going through and now there has been a rethink, not least because the midfielder’s performances have tailed off.

The report suggests that the deal is not 100 per cent off, but it is certainly in the balance, with United looking at options to sell Pereira within Europe.

This one may be out of United’s control – although all the hallmarks of a slow-moving process over an agreement which should have been easy are there.

But it sums up the continuation of an inability to efficiently and smoothly offload deadwood, which has plagued the club for a number of seasons.

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This summer, if United are to begin the squad overhaul which is required, they have to get rid of deadwood far better than they have been doing for years.

Erik ten Hag perhaps has to put a culture in place where there is a ruthlessness around getting outgoing deals done, perhaps accepting lower prices to get rid of players with no future.

What United don’t seem to release when they hold out for higher fees which end up with transfer deals falling through is they lose out on the incoming cash and pay out more in wages anyway.

If United are still paying Andreas’ wages come the end of the summer, they will surely rue not getting him sold to a willing bidder he was already playing for months ago.

This is an area United have to improve, and it is just as important as getting the right bodies in the door for the new manager.

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Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.