Manchester United midfield gem Andreas Pereira doesn't want to leave Old Trafford on loan this January, despite a lack of playing time. The Red Devils may be keen to keep Pereira, especially considering a proposed bid for Atletico Madrid's Saul Niguez seems set to end in failure.
Julian Quelen of Goal reports Pereira will push to stay at United this season as he bids to convince manager Louis van Gaal to give him his chance: "Goal has learned that the 20-year-old feels settled at United and wants to build on recent outings off the bench against Stoke City and Sheffield United to convince Louis van Gaal to offer him more playing time."
Recent reports had suggested 20-year-old playmaker Pereira could be loaned out during the winter transfer window. Simon Bajkowski of the Manchester Evening News stated Pereira had been facing up to the reality he'll have to move on to get games.
Bajkowski also noted how Pereira's inability to progress through the United ranks has been "curious" this season. The young schemer certainly has the technical quality to add some flair to Van Gaal's rather static midfield.
But if he can't get games now, Pereira may never make the breakthrough at Old Trafford. Rob Dawson of the Manchester Evening News listed some of United's current injury woes in the middle:
Rob Dawson @RobDawsonMEN
In fact, no Schweinsteiger or Carrick against Liverpool according to Van Gaal. Herrera or Fellaini in midfield, then.2016-1-15 15:43:51
Dwindling options in midfield helps explain United's interest in a player from La Liga.
Saul Niguez 'Not Interested' in Joining United
Van Gaal and the Red Devils have reportedly already made moves to bring Niguez to England's top flight. That's according to Sky Sports' Spanish Football expert Guillem Balague.
During a live Q&A on SkySports.com, Balague revealed how United offered €20 million for Niguez. But Balague stated how the talented 21-year-old doesn't want to leave Spain: "Even if they met the buy-out clause, the player still has to want to go, and as it stands, he doesn't."
Citing Atleti's recently incurred transfer ban, Balague also believes the club from the Spanish capital won't be in a position to sell.
Atletico shouldn't even consider selling one of their rising stars, according to ESPN FC's Joseph Walker. He's commended the youngster for "picking up the kind of positional and tactical nous often shown by experienced pros shielding the back four."
Frankly, United shouldn't be in a rush for another player to sit in front of the defence. Van Gaal already has Michael Carrick, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Morgan Schneiderlin. The former pair are both ageing, but it's some creative verve United's midfield really needs.
Buying Niguez would be a transfer with the future in mind. That's an admirable philosophy from Van Gaal, but the Dutchman is under pressure to deliver success now.
Keeping Pereira around and handing him a few more chances is a good way to safeguard the future. For now, Van Gaal needs a different kind of help than the type Niguez would provide.