Manchester United loanee Joel Pereira has confirmed he’s heading back to Old Trafford after the club decided to cut short his spell at Belenenses.

The 20-year-old joined the Portuguese side at the start of the season, and despite having started on the bench, ended up conquering a place in the starting XI in October and never left.

The decision to bring the player back was made by the Manchester United manager José Mourinho, who was satisfied with the goalkeeper’s form in Portugal and now wants him to be the squad’s third option.

“I’d like to thank everyone at Belenenses who helped me to develop my game and become a better player,” said Pereira in quotes Sport Witness has received from the player’s press office.

“From the president to the coaches, all my teammates, I really appreciate the opportunity that was given to me. It was a great experience to be able to play for such a traditional club from the Portuguese league and be capable of helping the team to get good results.

“As I’m a Manchester United player, I need to do what my club asks and I’m anxious to return to Manchester and keep working hard with my teammates.”

Pereira’s good performances for Belenenses had even attracted interest from Benfica, as reported in Portugal. But as reported by Sport Witness last month, the player did not have the intention to leave Manchester United.

Having arrived from Xamax in 2012, Joel Pereira has a contract with Manchester United until 2020. Besides Belenenses, he was also loaned to Rochdale for a short spell last season.