Man Utd star snubbed Erik ten Hag to force through transfer - "I wanted to feel loved"


Andreas Pereira and Willian of Fulham warm up prior to the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Fulham FC at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on October 23, 2023 in London, England.

Erik ten Hag is learning that it does not rain at Manchester United, it pours. And, no, this is not another dig at Old Trafford’s leaky roof.

But when the under-pressure Dutchman brings his team to Fulham at lunchtime today it seems fated that a former star who avoided him to force a move to Craven Cottage last season will pile on the misery.

Andreas Pereira said that he needed to leave United for a club where he would “feel more loved” and the Brazilian has impressed at Craven Cottage since a £10m switch.

And Pereira has also admitted that he ignored Ten Hag, not long after he arrived from Ajax, to ensure his transfer went through because he was afraid the new boss would convince him to stay.

"I didn't speak with Ten Hag," Pereira told ESPN. "I know him because I worked with him at PSV but I was determined in my head and maybe if I spoke with the manager again I would stay. In my head, I was thinking 'I need to go, I need to feel confident and play' and that's what I did.

"At United, I had a lot of memories; good memories, bad memories. It's been 10 years at the club. I arrived when I was 16 so, you know, a young boy. It was an amazing ride but I got to the stage where I thought maybe it was best not to stay.

"I wanted to feel more loved and I wanted to play every game. What Fulham offered me and what [manager] Marco [Silva] offered me, it was the perfect opportunity."

Pereira settled in quickly at Fulham and was one of the most used players during last season’s successful 10th-placed finish.

Within a couple of months, he said that he felt at home in West London after Silva’s sense of ambition was what attracted him south.

The Portuguese head coach has since turned down a couple of offers to move to Saudi’s Pro League to remain at the Cottage. And while their league form so far this season has been inconsistent - with two wins, two draws and two losses from their past six in the league - they can draw level on points with United by winning today.

Fulham are also in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals for the first time since 2004 having outclassed Ipswich while United were being battered by Newcastle on Wednesday evening.

And after losing three times to United last season, including the dramatic FA Cup defeat in which Aleksandar Mitrovic was given a long-term ban, Silva is determined to reverse his team’s fortunes.

"We played three times against them last season, I believe that performance-wise we were the better team but we lost. We want to write a different story this season,” he said. Ten Hag beware.

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