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Joel Pereira joins Hearts on loan

Highly-rated French teenager Hannibal Mejbri also joins United

Manchester United Training Session Photo by David Lidstrom/Getty Images

Manchester United’s fourth (third? fifth?) choice goalkeeper, Joel Pereira, has joined Hearts on loan for the 2019/20 season. The 23-year-old stopper is expected to get first-team football for the Scottish Premier League side. It is the fifth loan move of Pereira’s career, having previously spent time at Rochdale, Belenenses, Vitoria Setubal and Kortrijk.

Once lauded by José Mourinho as a future no. 1 for the Portuguese national team, Pereira has not exactly been outstanding in any of his temporary stints away from United — at least not to the level to suggest that he could be a credible replacement for David de Gea. Pereira’s competition in the United squad is formidable, and he will need to seriously impress to have a real chance at making it at the club. While Lee Grant is only a journeyman, Sergio Romero is arguably the best back-up ‘keeper in England, and Dean Henderson has possibly now jumped above Pereira in the depth chart as the young Englishman embarks on a first full season of Premier League football at Sheffield United.

In other loan news, 19-year-old Reserves midfielder Aidan Barlow has joined Norwegian side Tromso for the first half of the new season. Full-back George Tanner, also 19, has joined League Two side Morecambe for 2019/20 as well.

Speaking of the youth teams, goalkeeper Paul Woolston and defender Luca Ercolani have both signed new contracts, extending their stays with the U-23s. For the U-18s, United have received international clearance for 3 new players.

“Johan Guadagno is a 16-year-old keeper from IF Brommapojkarna in Sweden, while forwards Dillon Hoogewerf and Mateo Mejia have also joined. Netherlands Under-16 international striker Hoogewerf arrives from Ajax and Mejia was previously with Real Zaragoza in Spain.”

Finally, and perhaps most notably, United have confirmed their long-rumored deal for the former Monaco prodigy Hannibal Mejbri, subject to FIFA approval. Mejbri, only 16 years old, is said to have commanded an eight figure fee.