Matheus Pereira was left out of the West Bromwich Albion squad yesterday amid reports claiming the £25 million attacker is a target for Premier League quartet Leeds United, Aston Villa, West Ham and Crystal Palace.
As Valerien Ismael’s Baggies took on Sheffield Wednesday in a pre-season clash, one player was conspicuous by his absence.
And the new West Brom boss admitted earlier this summer he expected Pereira to leave the Hawthorns before the 31 August transfer deadline.
The former Sporting Lisbon youngster is hardly short of interest either, with Marcelo Bielsa looking to lure a player renowned for his balletic dribbling, ruthless finishing and defence-splitting passes to Elland Road.
Pereira is also a target for Crystal Palace, Aston Villa and a West Ham side in the market for a Jesse Lingard replacement (ESPN).
Brazilian playmaker Pereira produced 11 goals and six assists last season, more than Lingard has managed in a single Premier League campaign. Not bad when you consider Pereira was plying his trade in a side that looked destined for relegation almost from day one.
So Pereira’s absence from yesterday’s 2-0 triumph over Sheffield Wednesday will certainly get tongues wagging (Shropshire Live).
Will Pereira leave West Brom for Leeds or Aston Villa?
There’s no suggestion a player compared to Mo Salah during his time on loan at Nurnburg missed the friendly through injury.
Perhaps West Brom were concerned Pereira would pick up an untimely injury, wrecking their chances of securing a £25 million windfall before the summer is out.
In an ideal world, Ismael would love to keep hold of the club’s most naturally gifted talent.
But West Brom are under pressure to sell before they can buy and Pereira’s departure would free funds for a new striker, left-back and commanding central defender.
“It’s not a secret (goalkeeper) Sam Johnstone and Matheus Pereira can maybe leave the club. It’s my expectation that they (will) leave,” Ismael told the Birmingham Mail a few weeks ago.