Out of all the signings Slaven Bilic has made for West Bromwich Albion, it’s Matheus Pereira who has impressed the most this season.
The 23-year-old joined the Baggies on a season-long loan deal from Sporting Lisbon in the summer, hoping to bring some of his Brazilian magic to the Hawthorns.
Pereira certainly hasn’t failed to disappoint, lighting up the Championship with his skill on the ball and his ability to create chances from out of nowhere.
The classy playmaker has contributed to six goals and 16 assists this season, and the best bit from a West Brom perspective is that a permanent deal looks incredibly likely.
Pereira is set to become an Albion player when he makes one more appearance for the club, before an agreement is triggered which will allow him to join for a reported fee of £8.25m.
The midfielder will be hoping to finish the job and help guide the Baggies into the Premier League this season, and help them cement their place in the top-flight for years to come.
But reports from Football Insider suggest that Pereira is already a man in demand, with West Ham said to be keeping a close eye on the Brazilian.
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West Ham are a club West Brom are very familiar with, and another impressive midfielder, Grady Diangana, is on loan at the Hawthorns from the London Stadium.
Diangana has been hugely impressive for Albion, particularly in the first-half of the season, before a hamstring injury really halted his progress in the West Midlands.
Nevertheless, the 21-year-old has made an impact under Bilic, scoring five goals and adding six assists in the Championship, and he will certainly return to West Ham as a better player.
It has been previously claimed that Albion are looking to keep hold of Diangana for good, but the interest in Pereira could well prove to be a stumbling block in their pursuit.
It’s unlikely that West Ham will look to shift out a creative midfielder like Diangana this summer. Not only because he’s under contract until 2025, but mainly because he is a very similar player to Pereira.
If West Brom are to reject West Ham’s advances, too, it’s unlikely that the latter will be that generous in allowing Diangana to leave and join West Brom for good.
Keeping Pereira would obviously be a massive boost, however it could in turn act as a massive blow in their hopes of retaining Diangana.