West Bromwich Albion are preparing for the 2021/22 Championship season, with Valerien Ismael hopefully leading the club towards a brighter future following relegation from the Premier League.
Plans are motoring on and West Brom are having a positive pre-season under their new boss.
That’s unfolding despite doubt surrounding the futures of first team duo, Sam Johnstone and Matheus Pereira, who were the club’s standout performers last year in the Premier League.
In the case of Pereira, he’s got a number of admirers, with Leeds United amongst those consistently linked with the Brazilian playmaker.
What do we know so far?
As per ESPN, Pereira is on Leeds’ radar this summer. Marcelo Bielsa is known to be keen on signing another winger-No.10 hybrid this summer, as he looks to evolve the squad he led to ninth in the Premier League last season.
Pereira fits the bill in terms of his position, whilst he scored 11 goals and registered six assists last year in the Premier League, underlining his suitability to the level.
Despite interest from Leeds and the undoubted attractiveness of a move to West Yorkshire, Pereira might yet hold out for a move to a club playing European Football.
It’s noted by ESPN that West Ham United also hold an interest, alongside a couple of other Premier League sides.
Is it likely to happen?
Leeds are likely to add to their options out wide at some point between now and the end of the transfer window, although that signing is set to come later in the window, with a central midfielder a lot higher on the agenda at Elland Road.
Whilst Pereira remains a West Brom player and Leeds remain on the lookout for a winger, speculation will stick.
However, the likelihood of the 25-year-old moving to Elland Road will be played down by Leeds’ supporters.
Since winning promotion to the Premier League, Leeds have placed a lot more focus on the European market, with their five high-profile additions over the last two summers coming from Germany (Koch), France (Raphinha) and Spain (Rodrigo, Llorente and Firpo).
In the club’s view, they get more for their money out of England.
Quite how much Pereira will cost is anybody’s guess, but the likelihood is that it will be a lot steeper than what Leeds are willing to pay, with three years remaining on his deal at the Hawthorns.
The length of that contract leaves West Brom in a comfortable position, able to get their heads down and focus on preparing for the new season, safe in the knowledge they’ll command a healthy fee for their star man.