Manchester United's Andreas Pereira and the art of negotiation

What does the future hold for Manchester United prospect Andreas Pereira?

Having joined Manchester United in November 2011, Andreas Pereira has transitioned from prodigiously talented youngster to Brazilian Under-20 international. While these are promising initial steps, it is indicative that he still has a long way to go in his development.

Even at this raw stage however, it cannot be doubted that Louis van Gaal is an admirer of the young starlet’s talent as Pereira has had the opportunity to train with the first team squad throughout this season.

The only downside from Pereira’s side is that he hasn’t been able to break through and have a run of games in the starting XI, but that may be due to the fact he is still adjusting from a number 10 style player to his new-ish position of right central midfield (similar to that which Herrera takes up when in the 4-4-2 diamond or in a midfield three).

With that in mind, this is the point where his contract situation actually becomes a little bit like a chess match. It was not long ago that a certain Paul Pogba was seeing the months count down on his contract while simultaneously trying to break his way into United’s first team.

While Pereira is behind where Pogba was in terms of ability by the final year of his contract, the desire for first team opportunities I’m sure is no different.

What goes against Pereira in this instance is that he was part of the MK Dons horror show, an embarrassing feat which no doubt furthered van Gaal’s hesitation to give certain players a go, particularly when he currently has the likes of Herrera, Mata and Fellaini ahead of him.

The good thing about Pereira is that he is has the creative flair in midfield that would add the tempo we so desire but he is still a rough diamond that needs to be refined. I personally feel that his current experience of training with the world-class players in the first team squad is perhaps best for this but does he?

If following someone’s social media was any indicator of their feelings, then his would tell us that he is quite enjoying the experience, so why did Guillem Balague report that Pereira had turned down United’s initial renewal offer? This news in itself has several layers worth analysing.

First and foremost let us look at the message itself. Why would he reject the offer? Well it would be pretty foolhardy of anyone to accept the first offer in any negotiation, because these are proposed with some wriggle room built in. So why is this a rare occasion of us hearing about a turned down offer? Since it is so rare to hear about negotiations, do players often accept the first contract offer?

The answer is obviously no. Clubs prefer to keep such talks in house without news reaching the press until a contract has been agreed. In which case, why has it been leaked here especially given the fact that Guillem Balague is a Spanish football expert?

Well this is the point where Balague appears to be a pawn in the negotiations.

For Pereira, utilising any member of the press has its obvious advantages, especially if you consider the platform Balague has. Just by tweeting the news Balague will have alerted any number of clubs to his availability, particularly those in Spain who are able to hold talks with him now that his contract has less than 6 months to run, all without having his agent have to do any leg work.

There is also a bonus to potentially enticing other clubs to make contract offers to Pereira and that is it will expedite the negotiations between himself and United. So rather than letting this issue roll on for the full 6 months, hopefully a deal can be reached sooner rather than later even if one of the parties have to bend a little to get a deal done.

Either way, after the Pogba debacle the front office would be foolish to let him walk, especially as both parties initially look intent on getting a deal done.

However, if they are to let him go then that decision should be made just as quickly and they should look to cash in while they are still able to get more than the nominal sum they would receive if he signed for another club once his current deal expires, which at present is a realistic possibility given that the likes of PSG, AC Milan and Roma are more than ready to take full advantage of United’s dilly-dallying.

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