Andreas Pereira is adamant that Manchester United “icon” Wayne Rooney is not finished at the club and adds that he must stay till he dies.
The United captain has scored only one Premier League goal so far this season and has fallen out of favour, with his appearance against Fenerbahce on Thursday his first start since an EFL Cup tie at Northampton Town on September 21.
Rooney’s international status has also been affected, with interim England manager Gareth Southgate dropping him to the bench for the World Cup qualifier against Slovenia on October 11.
The 31-year-old has been heavily linked with move to China, as Sven Goran-Eriksson reportedly prepare to make the proposal for ex-Everton man to join Shanghai SIPG on an £80m deal.
But Pereira, who is currently on loan at Granada, does not think Rooney should consider leaving.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, he said: “No, not for Rooney. He is the club’s icon.
“You can’t take him away from Manchester United. It will not be the same Manchester United without Wayne Rooney. He has to stay there until he dies.”
The highly-rated Pereira moved to Granada on loan during the close-season after a discussion with Jose Mourinho and has started seven times in LaLiga so far.
Mourinho’s pep talk only seemed to increase the Brazil Under-20 international’s confidence and the coach also seems to be earmarking him for the future.
“I wanted to play more games under Van Gaal and thought I could have played more but it’s not the way it happened,” he added.
“When I spoke to Mourinho in his office at the training ground, he said he really liked me and the way I play, and he wanted to give me a chance to go on loan.
“He said it was important to get experience and prove myself and that he definitely wanted me to come back after a season.
“He was very honest with me, which I really liked. I think it’s why he is a very successful coach. I only worked with him a short amount of time and played a pre-season friendly at Wigan but I liked the way he works for the team and speaks to people.
“He knows what he wants and what his players are capable of. Mourinho will be honest with me.
“If he says I can’t do it, I will try do my best somewhere else and maybe come back another time like Pogba.
“But the club are keeping in touch, I got a message last week from Luis Faria [Mourinho’s assistant]. It shows I am not forgotten.”