Fulham midfielder Andreas Pereira has confirmed that he did not hold talks with Erik ten Hag before leaving Manchester United last summer.
Pereira left United and joined Fulham where he has become a crucial player under Marco Silva.
Fulham are ninth in the Premier League, largely due to the contributions of Pereira who is enjoying a stellar personal campaign.
Fulham will travel to Old Trafford on Sunday to face the Red Devils in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup.
Ahead of the game, the Brazilian sat down with ESPN and relayed the circumstances that led to his departure from the Theatre of Dreams.
“I didn’t speak with Ten Hag. I know him because I worked with him at PSV but I was determined in my head and maybe if I spoke with the manager again I would stay. In my head I was thinking ‘I need to go, I need to feel confident and play’ and that’s what I did.
“At United, I had a lot of memories; good memories, bad memories. It’s been 10 years at the club. I arrived when I was 16 so, you know, a young boy. It was an amazing ride but I got to the stage where I thought maybe it was best not to stay.
“I wanted to feel more loved and I wanted to play every game. What Fulham offered me and what [manager] Marco [Silva] offered me, it was the perfect opportunity.”
United staff were aware of Pereira’s headstrong nature. In 2017 a “nervous” Pereira defied Jose Mourinho‘s orders to remain at United when he insisted on going out on loan to Valencia.
Pereira remarked that during his loan spells in Spain, Italy and Brazil, his primary aim was to come back to the Red Devils and earn a starting berth.
Pereira conveyed to ESPN that one United star the Cottagers will need to be diligent in neutralizing is Marcus Rashford.
The 27-year-old issued a warning to his teammates that Rashford is playing with confidence and is in incredible goal-scoring form.
Pereira was asked how he would feel if Fulham beat United. He replied, “I’ll have mixed emotions. It’s a difficult game but I’m happy to play against Manchester United. It will be my first time back and feeling that atmosphere. I’ve never been there as a visitor so it will be something new.”