Matheus Pereira, the former West Bromwich Albion playmaker, is wanted back in Brazil this summer with his future in Saudi Arabia looking to be in doubt.
Pereira, 27, left Albion in the summer of 2021 having spent two seasons at The Hawthorns – and during those years it’s fair to say he very much left his mark on the Baggies fanbase.
Pereira scored 20 goals and produced 26 assists in just two campaigns – one in each of the Premier League and Championship – and 77 appearances having arrived initially from Sporting Lisbon, before he signed a permanent deal in 2020 having inspired Albion’s promotion to the top flight under Slaven Bilic.
The maestro, though, wasn’t intending on hanging around following relegation having produced 12 goals and eight assists in all competitions, including braces in the wins at Wolves and Chelsea.
With no sufficient offers from Europe forthcoming, Pereira departed for Saudi and moved to Al Hilal in a deal worth around £16m, where he helped them to clinch the treble and make the Club World Cup final – they’d lose to Chelsea.
Things haven’t run smoothly for Pereira, though, since, and he was loaned out to Al Wahda in the UAE Pro League and scored twice, producing four further assists, having completed his loan move in January of this year. Now, reports have emerged from his native Brazil that Cruzeiro, his boyhood club, wish to bring him back to the country of his birth.
Cruzeiro, managed by Pepa, tried to bring him to the club in January when they were still in the second tier of Brazilian football, but now they’ve secured promotion back to the top flight, they’ve reignited their interest and are reportedly intending on submitting a loan offer to Al Hilal for the forthcoming season. Al Hilal, though, are only entertaining an arrangement until the summer of 2024, whereas in South America clubs seasons run until the winter.
Pereira has never played in Brazil, having moved to Portugal as a child, but his dad confirmed in an interview last year that he was a Cruzeiro fan as a boy.
There remain many Albion supporters who’d very much like the idea of Pereira returning to the club one day, although in their current predicament that’s not realistic.
He has been back to visit and watch his old teammates in action at The Hawthorns on a number of occasions since exiting, and remains in contact with winger Grady Diangana, who he was pictured with this summer enjoying his summer break.