By Noel Whelan

17th Aug, 2020 | 4:00pm

Exclusive: Whelan wowed as West Brom close in on 'Outstanding' signing

Noel Whelan has claimed that confirming Matheus Pereira’s permanent arrival from Sporting Lisbon would be a “massive boost” for West Brom.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Leeds United striker argued that the winger was “outstanding” last season, and played a “pivotal” role in the Baggies sealing their return to the Premier League this summer.

As revealed by Football Insider last month, Albion are closing in on rubber-stamping a four-year deal for the Brazilian after he triggered an appearance clause in his loan deal at The Hawthorns last term.

Since then, The Athletic journalist Steve Madeley has reported that the transfer is being held up by “contractual issues”, although it is still expected that a move will be completed imminently.

And Whelan believes that the sooner a deal is confirmed, the better for West Brom.

Speaking to Football Insider, he said: “He is pivotal to their success.

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“There’s not too many players you can really pick out in that Championship division who were genuinely outstanding last year. You can look at the front three of Brentford, you can look at players for Leeds United who have pulled it out of the bag consistently.

“But he was their Pablo Hernandez. He was their one player who could produce something out of nothing, their match winner at times. He has that little bit of something special.

“To get him in permanently is a massive boost. To get that one nailed down would be absolutely brilliant. I’m sure Slaven Bilic is absolutely over the moon.”

Pereira was a standout performer for Albion last term, registering 20 assists and eight goals in 42 league outings.

It is understood that West Brom will have to pay a fee of around £9 million to officially complete the deal.

In other West Brom news, Leeds have set their sights on beating the Baggies to this midfielder now available for £1.5m.