According to Birmingham Live, West Brom have been handed a boost in their pursuit of Sporting Lisbon winger Matheus Pereira, with the report claiming that Bundesliga outfit Schalke have dropped out of the race to sign the 23-year-old this summer.
The Brazilian, who impressed during his loan stint at Nurnberg in the Bundesliga the last term, has no other suitors in the German top-flight, with Schalke now looking at options elsewhere. (h/t Birmingham Live)
Pereira has been the subject of interest from the Baggies this summer, with the report claiming that the Midlands outfit have already tabled an offer to initially sign the player on loan, including an option to buy permanently for a fee of €9million at the end of the 2019-20 campaign. (h/t Birmingham Live)
Birmingham Live, however, understands that Sporting Lisbon are not quite happy with the terms and conditions put forward by West Brom in the deal and the negotiations between the two clubs are yet to reach a positive end.
Pereira contributed with 3 goals and 2 assists in 19 Bundesliga outings for Nurnberg last season.
Although that wasn’t enough to save the club from relegation, the Brazilian was certainly one of the rare bright sparks of a lacklustre campaign and caught the eye with his dazzling displays in the final third.
Born in Belo Horizonte, Matheus Pereira migrated to Portugal at a young age and joined Sporting Lisbon’s youth ranks at the age of 14. The talented attacker made his first-team debut in the 2015-16 season but he only featured sporadically due to stiff competition for places in the club’s senior ranks.
Pereira’s racked up 5 goals in 18 appearances in his debut season, although that wasn’t enough for him to earn a regular starting role at Sporting in the following campaign.
The Brazilian impressed with 8 goals and 5 assists on his loan spell at fellow Primeira Liga club G.D Chaves in the 2017-18 season before joining Nurnberg last summer.
However, with his contract at Sporting not about to expire until the summer of 2022, Pereira might as well push hard for a move this summer in order to settle down permanently at another club, given that he apparently has no future at Sporting.
A sharp, agile, technically-gifted left-footed attacking midfielder, Pereira is essentially a right-winger by trade but he is more than capable of playing out wide on the left and through the centre in a No.10 role behind the main striker.
Besides his lightning pace and quick acceleration, Pereira also has the natural finesse and creativity, as well as the passing ability and the vision, to open up defences and carve out goalscoring chances. His proficiency in cutting inside from the flanks and powerful shooting from range make him a potent goal threat in the final third.
To put things into perspective, West Brom have already brought in the likes of Filip Krovinovic on loan from Benfica, as well as Kenneth Zohore and Romaine Sawyers on permanent deals from Cardiff City and Brentford, to bolster their attack and midfield ranks.
And it is easy to see that a versatile attacker like Matheus Pereira could also add more depth, quality and firepower to the club’s ranks. Moreover, the Brazilian has a certain level of unpredictability in his game, which might make him an X-Factor in the Baggies ranks.
Manager Slaven Bilic is expected to bring in another striker to cope with the departure of last season’s prolific duo of Dwight Gayle and Jay Rodriguez.
Although Pereira looks like a real talent, West Brom have made an attempt to reduce the risk factor in the move by opting for a loan deal with an option to buy.
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However, they might as well consider altering their stance and mending the offer to tempt Sporting Lisbon into selling one of their fringe players.
The Baggies will be expected to reinvigorate their surge for promotion next term and Pereira’s arrival should certainly improve the club’s chances of making it back to the Premier League.
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