Andreas Pereira became the first Manchester United
player to speak out about Paul Pogba's uncertain future at Manchester United and has come up with a plan to keep his close friend at Old Trafford.
Pogba continues to be linked with a move to Real Madrid
this summer, but it will take a bid in excess of £150million to make United even consider selling.
Pereira has another idea. 'I might steal his phone so he doesn't speak to anyone!' he said following United's 4-0 win over Leeds in Perth
'Just in the group he is a great person. It will be very important if he stays with us. He is a very good player and top-class as a person as well.
'I learn from him every day. He is one of my closest friends, I've been here with him since 16 years old, so he is like family to me.'
The 23-year-old Brazil international believes the young group of players emerging at United can help the club towards a brighter future following six difficult years in the wake of Sir Alex Ferguson's retirement.
Mason Greenwood scored his first senior goal against Leeds while other academy products Tahith Chong, Angel Gomes and Axel Tuanzebe have all impressed on tour alongside new signings Dan James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka, who are both 21.
'Yeah, it's a chance,' said Pereira. 'We understand each other because we've known each other a long time. Of course, there is a chance if you are here on tour and there is always a possibility to do well. If the manager likes you, you're in the team suddenly.
'In training we are fresh. The young boys run around a lot and we have the experienced players like Nemanja (Matic), Ashley (Young), Phil Jones. They help us and tell us what to do, so it is a very good mixture.
'I think we have to let the young players show what they've got. Especially now in pre-season they have the chance to show it, and of course Man United have always brought through brilliant players.
'If you see Marcus (Rashford) and Jesse (Lingard) come through the ranks and Scholesy, Giggsy, Becks, they have to give them a chance and develop players.' Belgium-born Pereira made his senior debut five years ago under Louis van Gaal before spending two seasons out on loan in Spain with Granada and Valencia. However, he returned to Old Trafford last season and made a total of 22 appearances.
The highlight was a stunning strike against Southampton in March, but his mistake also led to a goal when United drew 2-2 at home to Burnley in January.
'It was difficult,' he added. 'The manager spoke with me but I came back with the goal against Southampton. He helped me a lot and so I am very happy. Hopefully now I can show everyone and keep doing what I'm doing.'
Pereira hopes to fill the void left by Ander Herrera after signing a new four-year contract earlier this month.
'With the confidence from the manager, the staff, the board with the new contract, that is what I'm aiming to do,' he said.
'I will play wherever the manager wants me to play. I can play as a No.8, as a box to box midfielder, but I'm a No.10 as well and I can shoot on goal. Hopefully I can cement myself in the team first and then after we will see the position.
'I feel strong. I feel that I can step up. I have to take my chance now and I will be ready to take it this season. I have a lot more to show, how to be more consistent and play better.'