Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Chelsea hijack Manchester United bid for Pedro

The Red Devils' unwillingness to match Barcelona's €30 million asking price has alienated the 28-year-old, who believes he would enjoy a more important role at Stamford Bridge

Chelsea are now in pole position to sign Barcelona forward Pedro after making a late bid to hijack Manchester United’s move for the Spaniard, Goal understands.

Pedro travelled to London on Wednesday morning to hold talks with Chelsea ahead of a €30 million move, and personal terms are not expected to be an obstacle to completing the deal.

United have pursued Pedro for much of the summer but the Spaniard is understood to have become frustrated with the Red Devils' unwillingness to match Barcelona’s asking price of €30m, while conversations with close friend and former team-mate Victor Valdes have left him wary of Louis van Gaal’s management style.

Jose Mourinho is a long-time admirer of the 28-year-old, who can play anywhere across the frontline, and Diego Costa's sluggish start to the season has convinced him that his Chelsea squad needs another goal threat. The Premier League champions are so far the only club to indicate that they are happy to meet Barcelona's asking price.

Pedro's change of heart will be a big blow to Van Gaal, who is looking to bolster an attack presently over-reliant on Wayne Rooney following the departures of Robin van Persie and Radamel Falcao. United came tantalisingly close to sealing a deal for the 28-year-old prior to Barca's two-legged Spanish Super Cup clash with Athletic.

Last week Van Gaal admitted that Pedro is precisely the kind of fast, penetrative forward United need, but the club's decision to play hardball with Barcelona over price has alienated the player.

Pedro's push to leave Camp Nou after seven trophy-laden years in the first team is borne out of his desire to be a key player at a top club and the strength of Chelsea's interest has convinced him he will enjoy such status at Stamford Bridge.

It is also understood that - despite numerous media reports - Manchester City never harboured a serious interest in signing Pedro, having already acquired Raheem Sterling and identified Kevin De Bruyne as a top target this summer.