Andreas Pereira has spoken about his decision to join Granada on a season-long loan Spanish side Granada. Jose Mourinho told Pereira he would feature in cup competitions for United but both agreed it would do him better to play regularly elsewhere. Pereira has revealed the details of their conversation in an interview with The Guardian.

I spoke to Mourinho about it. I was honest with him and he was honest with me. I like this about him. He said: ‘If you stay, you’ll get a game, you’ll play in the cup’, but that’s not what I needed and he thought that as well, so it was better to go on loan. I told him I would go anywhere he thought fit. He would like me to go to Fulham but it didn’t go through and then I had this option. Spain is my kind of football, I was happy Granada were interested.

The manager said: ‘Look, if you go there and play all season, that’s very important’. I wanted to feel what it is to play a whole season, have it in my legs, then come back. I didn’t want it to be: ‘You’re a young player going through the youth team’; I didn’t want that excuse. Now I’ve played 30 games, I have experience I can use in Manchester. When you’re young on the bench you can’t show yourself really. Here, I’m showing I am a good player, ready to play.

Granada are currently in the relegation zone, five points away from the team above them, and Pereira has claimed this experience has improved him as a player. Having to play for a team that has to defend for so much of the game has meant Pereira has added this element to his game.

When I came, I told myself: it’s not Manchester United. It’s a good club, a good league, but not the best in the world. At PSV we were always attacking and at United we always wanted the ball, then I came here and we’re defending. It’s hard to adapt, but it is good for me: I learnt a lot.

I couldn’t defend at all. Now I’m a lot better. It’s a mental process and I would never have had this in Manchester. I know what it is now to have difficult games in a relegation team. I know what it is to have pressure for 80 minutes and then maybe in one counterattack need to score. Normally, it is the other way around at United.

It is difficult for a club like Granada: a lot of loan players, a lot of nationalities, a language barrier at first. We try to be a team, even though I know I am going to leave, even though Angban and Boga are going back.

For some players it can be a problem. It’s easy to think: ‘Ah, yeah, I’ll go back. Why should I run here?’ But it’s a mindset: if you can’t run here, you’re can’t go back to United and decide: ‘Now I’m going to do it.’ It doesn’t work like that: if you can’t give everything here you can’t at United.

Pereira has just one year remaining on his current deal so has thought about where his future may lie, but he hopes it’s at United.

I have thought about it. I would love to go back and play at Old Trafford, but if they say: ‘Andreas, we would like to loan you out again,’ or ‘we don’t want you any more,’ I don’t know what I am going to do. But the focus now is Granada.