Man Utd midfielder Pereira: I'll go to Santos... but not yet
- Andreas Pereira fully intends to see through his dream of playing for Santos and only ever wants to represent Brazil.
Manchester United midfielder Andreas Pereira is determined to play for Santos, even if it is much later in his career.
The 24-year-old has spoken previously of a wish to represent the Brazilian club, whose president admitted this month to having contacted the player personally.
Pereira has been at United since 2011 and had been a mainstay in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's plans this season, making 37 appearances in all competitions before the campaign was halted by the coronavirus pandemic.
While he remains keen to stay in Europe for now, with his United contract running until June 2023, Pereira yearns to win trophies with Santos before he retires.
He told Globo Esporte: "My whole family is from Santos. Since I was little, I grew up watching this. I was becoming a player and I always dreamed of playing for Santos, but I went to Manchester.
"I got older, then everyone said, 'Why won't you play for our Santos?' I want to go, but I can't now. I want to play football in Europe, and then I'll go.
"I want to go to Santos to win. I'm not going there to finish and to 'steal' money. I'm going to play well, so people say: 'Remember Andreas at Santos?'"
Pereira was born in Belgium and played for them at youth level before representing Brazil in the Under-20s.
He earned his first senior cap in a friendly against El Salvador in September 2018 but has not made an appearance for the Selecao since.
Pereira says Belgium boss Roberto Martinez has told him he would be welcome to switch allegiances, but the player insists he only ever wanted to play for Brazil.
"The Belgium coach spoke to me after I was called up. He asked what the situation was, if there was any chance I could play for Belgium," he said.
"I said that I'm Brazilian at heart, my family is Brazilian. I was born in Belgium but I never intended to play for Belgium. I never thought about that.
"He said that, if I don't feel happy one day, if they treat me in a way I don't like, they will always have open arms."