Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has confirmed that goalkeeper Joel Pereira “will go on loan” this summer and says he signed Stoke City’s Lee Grant in order to sanction his departure without losing a useful shot-stopper for the season. United brought in more experience between the sticks, with Grant joining David De Gea and Sergio Romero as first-team options, and his arrival means an existing player can leave – enter Pereira.
The 22-year-old, who joined the Red Devils from Xamax II in 2012 and risen through the youth ranks to the fringes of the first-team. Pereira has made just three appearances for the senior side, instead being loaned out to the likes of Rochdale and Belenenses, and it appears the club are looking to repeat the feat this summer. Grant’s arrival from Stoke was a surprise, but Mourinho has revealed there was more meaning to the deal that met the eye.
“We did Lee Grant because we have a fantastic young goalkeeper (Joel Pereira) who needs to play football. I really believe Joel is a Manchester United goalkeeper, but he cannot be 19-years-old and two years without football, he has to play. To protect that position, we have Lee,” he said.
“We’ve known Lee for a long time, he has experience in the Championship, also with Stoke City in the Premier League, he’s more than ready to fulfil that position and allow the development of Joel. Joel that he is here with us is good for him to play, then he will go on loan.”
Pereira has racked up 28 appearances for United’s reserve side and will be hoping he’ll eventually become a first-team player. With the competition ahead of him currently, it looks unlikely. This will be his third loan move away from United and he’s still only 22, but it’s unknown if he’ll ever be a mainstay.