Manchester United signs 19-year-old Andreas Pereira to three-year extension

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In the midst of one of the most significant stretches of the Premier League season, Manchester United has made a move with the future of the club in mind.

Today, the team announced that Belgian midfielder Andreas Pereira signed a three-year extension to remain at Old Trafford, a indication that the Red Devils want to increase the 19-year-old’s first-team involvement.

Pereira came to Manchester United’s youth system in 2011 after spending six years in the academy at PSV Eindhoven, and to date, he’s made two appearances on the first-team squad. His debut occurred about seven months ago when United lost to MK Dons in the Capital One Cup’s second round, and he also performed in manager Louis van Gaal’s 3-0 win over Tottenham this past March.

“He has all the attributes to become an integral part of the first-team; great natural talent coupled with a good appetite to learn…I am pleased with his progression so far this season and look forward to working with him to develop his talent even further,” Van Gaal said.

[RELATED: Van Gaal–Chelsea superior to United but next year “may be different”]

Pereira’s contract was going expire at the end of the year, and Paris Saint-Germain had interest in acquiring him. People had compared his contract situation to that of Paul Pogba, who elected to head off to Serie A hoping to gain more minutes and opportunity.

But this time, United isn’t letting go of the classic player with great upside.

“I am pleased to have signed my new contract,” Pereira said. “I would like to thank the manager for giving me the opportunity to join the first-team squad. I made my Premier League debut against Tottenham Hotspur and to play at Old Trafford in front of so many fans was a dream come true.

“I am at the right club to continue my development as a player and to learn as much as I can. I want to thank my family and God for the opportunity he has given me.”