Reports from Italy have this week claimed Lazio are not going to take up their option to buy on Andreas Pereira.
It should not come as any surprise. Pereira has a total of two starts in Serie A all season.
He has played 13 times from the bench and has four substitute appearances in the Champions League, but has been unable to force his way into the Lazio side as a starter.
With 24 league games gone already, Pereira’s chances are running out.
Last weekend he was a sub in a 2-0 defeat at Bologna, and just like Bruno Fernandes’ role as an entrenched starter at United, Lazio have made clear they do not intend on dropping Luis Alberto from their preferred starting line-up.
When Pereira was loaned out to Lazio, the deal came with an option to buy of 27 million Euros (£23.3 million), Fabrizio Romano reported.
Perhaps you can’t blame United for being optimistic – but this always seemed like an excessive fee for a player who if he stayed, would not have made United’s matchday squad most weeks.
You can also understand why Pereira was attracted by Lazio, getting the chance to play for a top Serie A side and feature in the Champions League.
But it was probably the wrong choice, as he was quite clearly only brought in as a back-up.
Pereira needed to go to a club where he could be a regular starter, and that should be his next step.
Perhaps if he does play regularly, he might earn a permanent move, but there won’t be many bidders for him this summer at the price United were demanding.
Pereira is under contract at Manchester United until 2023 after penning a new deal in 2019.
He was given plenty of opportunities at United last season and the task seemed too big for him. It was clear he needed a fresh start.
Time is running out for him to earn a permanent move to Lazio, but at this stage it might not appeal too much to the Brazilian.
At a cheaper price Lazio might consider snapping him up, but at £23.3 million, in this market, you can’t blame them for choosing to divert funds elsewhere.
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