OGC Nice fullback Ricardo Pereira, currently on loan from Porto, is set to return to Estadio do Dragao after two seasons in France.
- Right-back has a £21.2m release clause
- He’s under contract until 2019
- Porto want to keep him but may be forced into a sale
His return to Portugal could be a short one, as Liverpool and Arsenal are both interested in his services. Portuguese paper A Bola report that Porto want their fullback available as soon as possible, but with Premier League clubs interested, they could be in for a fight.
Pereira’s current contract runs until 30 June, 2019, and the player has a release clause of €25m (£21.2m). It remains to be seen if Porto will be able to offer a young Portuguese a new contract before a bid arrives.
The release clause in Pereira’s contract would not present any problem for English clubs.
Liverpool were first reported to be interested by the English media, and Arsenal were linked with the player this January but Arsene Wenger denied interest in him.
With Mathieu Debuchy and Carl Jenkinson both expected to leave Arsenal this summer, Pereira would provide much needed depth in the right back position.
The 23-year-old possesses many quality attributes, his acceleration and tendencies to go forward down the flanks provide width in attacking moves. His composure on the ball and ability to pick a right pass under pressure have made him one of the best right backs in Ligue 1.
Pereira’s defensive work is also impressive but could use refinement.
So far he’s won 40 tackles in the league, but also made 22 fouls in the process. As he doesn’t usually apply pressure with tight marking he often makes risky challenges.
A move to Premier League would provide a bigger stage to show off his skills, but would also mean limited playing time which was the reason he left Porto for OGC Nice in the first place.